Youth Education

Maya Traditions’ Youth Education Program started humbly, with an honest conversation between the organization’s founder, Jane Mintz, and an artisan from Chuacruz, a rural village in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. The artisan made clear to Jane the grinding, generational poverty and high costs of even public education in Guatemala that made it difficult – often impossible – to send their children to school. Through this personal encounter, Jane recognized the need to support Maya Traditions’ collaborating artisans beyond just a fair payment for their weavings and the first ever scholarship was offered in 1997 to Gilberto, the son of the woman from Chuacruz.

Our Youth Education Program continues to grow today. Our latest initiative is the Student Sponsorship Program that connects sponsors with students to fund the student’s education.

Learn more about the Sponsorship Program, the education system in Guatemala, and our student success stories:


education-system    our-stories






A day with Marisol – our Youth Education coordinator:


About a year before cancer took her from us, I was on the phone with Jane and her voice sounded teary. She told me not to be concerned as they were tears of joy. While sorting her collection of Guatemala photographs, she'd just come across a picture of a boy from Chuacruz who was the first recipient of a Maya Traditions' scholarship. Jane recounted how he was twelve at the time and his artisan mother wanted him to quit school so he could go to work and help support his family. Jane convinced her otherwise and today that young man is completing his medical degree.

— Murray Mintz

My goal is to be a graduate in social work as I want to improve the lives of those who live in rural areas. I am driven to help this population that does not have a voice in Guatemala.

— Carmen Tzoc Portillo, Chirijox

Guaranteed Member of the
World Fair Trade Organization