Hey, Steph again. As I mentioned before, I’ll be heading back to Guatemala at the end of the month. When I return, I’d like to take back a load of donations for Mayan Families, so if you’ve been planning to clean out your closets, send that extra stuff with me! We’re looking for clothes and shoes (for babies, children, and adults), primarily, but let me know if you’ve got something else you think will be useful. I’m happy to pick things up if you’re within reasonable driving distance (I’m back and forth between Westminster, MD, and College Park).
1) Used stuff is awesome, as long as it has a little use left in it. We want to help people feel confident in school, at work, or in the hunt for a job, and clothes that are badly ripped or stained won’t do that.
2) People in Guatemala are generally a bit smaller than people in the US. Hand-me-downs from the very tall will probably go to waste. Same goes for shoes–it’ll be hard to find feet for ladies shoes bigger than size 7, or mens shoes bigger than size 10.
3) When I was there, I noticed a special need for sweaters/sweat shirts/jackets for girls and women. The shirts that are a part of the traditional clothing are short-sleeved, so girls and women need an extra layer to keep warm. Zip up is better than pullover, but both are great.
4) Shoe-wise, we especially need footwear for bigger kids and teenagers. Flip flops, crocs, and jellies are great, since they’re waterproof (a big plus during the rainy season), and girls can wear them with traditional skirts (girls who wear traje don’t wear tennis shoes). Small heels are OK, but keep in mind that streets are cobblestone and many areas aren’t paved at all.
5) Short shorts, mini skirts, and tank-tops aren’t culturally appropriate. Also, since most of Mayan Families’ female clients (especially the adults) wear traje, there isn’t much demand for women’s pants.
If you’ve got stuff you’d like to send, email me at slwolf10(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll arrange to get it before I go. If you’ve got a pile of stuff and you don’t have time to sort through it, I’ll do it for you (and donate the rest locally). If you’re closer to Jess (Ellicott City) or Ronnie (Bethesda), I can arrange to pick things up from them, too. Thank you again!