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Our story begins in 2016 on a mission trip taken by Jami, Emiliee, and Carla (our founders, and today’s Board of Directors). The three traveled to Santiago Atitlan with the goal of providing health screenings, health education, and hygiene supplies (toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap) to the children of the community.


“1 in 3 people in Santiago Atitlan have a toothbrush. It’s not one per person, but one per household. Imagine having to use your father’s toothbrush. It’s no wonder people don’t brush their teeth.” Adrienne Benn, MBA | Chief Growth Officer

They fell in love with both the people and the place immediately and felt compelled to partner to create a not-for-profit charitable organization that would help to formalize their efforts and enable them to reach more of the community.

“With children, the idea is that you’re making an impact that changes behavior early on—and that change has the potential to impact the rest of their lives.”

– Jami Smith, MPA, MEd, PA-C  |   Founding Member, Chief Executive Officer and President

Since then, Mayanza has expanded beyond oral and hand hygiene, conducting educational sessions on nutrition and hygiene for mothers, on sexual health for teenagers, and on body systems for elementary school children.


Each of these programs targets a different segment of the community, but all have a single common goal: to give the people of Santiago Atitlan the health resources they need to support their families, contribute to their community, and live the lives they want to live.

“There’s something so special about a community who's been able to hold onto their culture so strongly for so long. It’s a magical place.” 

– Jami Smith, MPA, MEd, PA-C  |   Founding Member, Chief Executive Officer and President

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