For more information, contact Mary at

  • Xix Guatemala School for New Mayas
Supporting the School for New Mayas in Xix, Guatemala!

We are a group of friends who took seriously the plea from Jose Itzep Ixcotoyac,  founder and director of the School for New Mayas (Centro de Formacion Nuevos Mayas), to raise funds to provide scholarships and keep the doors of the school open. Read the story of how the New Mayas Society came to support the School for the New Mayas:  When a Mayan Village Calls

Painting of PopulVuh.
Painting of PopulVuh.

The New Mayas Society wholeheartedly backs the goals for the School for New Mayas (Centro de Formacion Nuevos Mayas)and its parent organization, the Association for the Development of Ixil Families (APRODEFI). The School provides children in the Ixil region, primarily indigenous Mayas, with essential education, language and skill training,  while deepening their knowledge and appreciation for their Mayan culture.  It also serves as a hub for continuing community education and business projects. At present, these projects are focused on agricultural training, crop production and export, and eco-tourism. The ultimate goal for the School is to achieve a modest but sustainable economic development, and for students to be trained to support themselves, their families and their communities.

A year of education for boarding students from across the regions costs about $600. Since 2009, NMS donors have supported 12 to 22  students each school year. Graduates teach in rural schools, develop libraries, help organize communities to defend their lands and resources,  attend the university, start businesses, and assist with other development projects.

Scholarship students with Mary Sennewald, the NMS President.
Scholarship students with Mary Sennewald, the NMS President.

The NMS President, Mary Sennewald, visits the school at least once a year to meet with staff and students, especially our scholarship students,  to evaluate program progress, and to help out as needed. Over the years, NMS contributors also have provided loans and donations for special community projects.  Donations at any level are greatly appreciated.

Mary Lois Sennewald with students.
Mary with students discussing their letters to donors.

Scholarship students maintain a relationship with their madrinas and padrinos (godmothers and godfathers) through personal letters). If you would like to help support a student for a year, please contact Mary Lois Sennewald at

News and Activities can be followed on our Facebook page “School for New Mayas.”  Please “like” and visit the page often for new updates.

We are affiliated with Avivara, a 501©(3) which acts as our fiscal sponsor.


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