Help Meso and NDG Protect Guatemalans with Covid-19 Masks!

Deep in the mountains of Guatemala’s highlands, you can find the last surviving members of the Mayan Spiritual Council – and it just so happens, they know how to sew.

Our friends have lost their livelihoods because of Covid-19. Wherever you live, you can help these artisans use their skills to protect their countrymen from the global pandemic while investing in Guatemala’s future.

Donate Masks Today

 Your donation matters

5 ways your purchase makes life better in Guatemala!

Work for Locals

The economy of a small town in Totonicapan, where these masks are made, depends on fabric and materials. These artisans want to earn their living!

Support the Mayan Council

This humble lineage, keepers of ancient Mayan spiritual history, supports an entire village who look to the Mayan Spiritual Council for guidance and financial support.

Support NDG Families

Your donation helps Ninos de Guatemala provides masks to families of NDG students whose lives have been affected by Covid.

Invest in the future

A portion of each purchase benefits Colegio Mesoamericano, in the highlands of Chimaltenango, a school dedicated to developing extraordinary leadership in Guatemalan children.

Keeper of ancient wisdom

Mayan Spiritual Council

Project Jeronimo is named after Jerenimo Paxtor Perez, a 14th generation descendant of a line of Mayan spiritual guides. He is the keeper of Mayan heritage, and the head of the council of the Mayan Spiritual Council. His community in Totonicapan looks to him for strength and guidance, especially at times like these.

Learn About the Mayan Council
Made in the mountains

Stylish + Effective

The custom-designed pattern provides a tight fit that still allows flexibility, with a second layer of filtration fabric beneath a variety of stylish external designs.

Donate 5 Masks for $15

Handcrafted and Effective

Filtration within 3% of surgical masks

Designed to be effective

The exterior fabric doesn’t filter much, but the fun, fashionable colors are less intimidating and help communities embrace the habit of wearing masks.

The interior layer is traditionally used in vacuum filters, proven to filter nearly as well as hospital-grade masks – 89% of 0.02 micron particles compared to 86%.

Frequently Asked Questions

What, exactly, am I buying?

Your donation to Meso Foundation (a 501(c)3 organization in the United States) will be used to purchase and distribute 5 handcrafted masks to Guatemala’s most needy communities. Because you receive no tangible benefit, the donation may be tax deductible in the U.S.

Who benefits from my donated masks?

Your donated masks help in 4 ways:

  1. You’re supporting the artisans who make the masks. They typically use their skills to sew goods for tourists, and although Guatemala’s borders have been closed to tourism for weeks, these families still need to eat.
  2. You’re supporting the Mayan Council in Totonicapán. This large family group provides leadership and financial support for villagers in their ancestral home in the highland mountains.
  3. You’re supporting Colegio Mesoamericano, a child-first school in Chimaltenango that is redefining education in Guatemala to build up a generation of extraordinary leadership in the country.
  4. You’re protecting Guatemala’s most vulnerable citizens. Covid-19 is unlike any challenge the country has faced. We distribute the masks you purchase to the most needy families in the rural villages of Totonicapán and the urban neighborhoods of Chimaltenango, where people cannot leave home without masks to care for their basic needs.

Why does Guatemala need my help?

Guatemala is one of the poorest countries in the Americas, with 60% of the population living in poverty. Even advanced healthcare systems haven’t been able to weather Covid-19 very well, and because the government here knows they aren’t equipped to respond they have had to shut down the local economies that help Guatemalan people survive.

How is Guatemala dealing with Covid-19?

Unlike the United States, where the government is bailing out huge corporations, it is private businesses in Guatemala who are donating millions of dollars to buy testing kits, ventilators, and establish field hospitals throughout the country to help Guatemalans survive. The government, realizing how easily the healthcare system here would be overwhelmed, has had to respond by shutting down the economy, enforcing a nationwide 4pm curfew, and limiting transportation between departments.

In spite of the tremendous pressure this puts on families who already live day to day, the people of Guatemala are handling these challenges with grace and calm. They are, by and large, a people of gratitude and faith.

Why bother with masks that aren't N95?

Reasonable and informed people disagree on the degree to which masks help block transmission of the virus that causes Covid-19. Recent research and guidance from scientists suggest masks do make a difference, but here are three reasons these masks will help, either way:

  1. Pharmacies, grocery stores, and even entire Guatemalan cities will not allow people to enter unless they are wearing masks.
  2. Disposable surgery masks, if people have money for them, are intimidating and add to the psychological pressure facing Guatemalan families.
  3. Entire communities rely on their sewing traditions to provide for their families. They don’t want a handout, they want to earn their living.

Can I donate more than 5 masks?

Of course. You can change the quantity on our site as you make your donation. We will distribute 5 masks to vulnerable families for each donation.

How can I do more to help?

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought Guatemala’s economy to its knees. The Meso Foundation supports Colegio Mesoamericano, which for nearly three decades has provided world-class education to under-served families in Chimaltenango. In the face of the nationwide shutdown, our school, like most others, may not be able to continue paying our brilliant, passionate educators. If you are inclined to help, a donation to Meso Foundation can help us retain our staff while Guatemala recovers from the pandemic.

Mask wear in the news

CDC on wearing masks

“Mask-wearing also serves as a reminder to all that we are in a crisis situation and are trying to be good citizens by covering our mouths.”

Masks save lives.

Public mask-wearing is about decreasing transmission, especially from those that are asymptomatic.

Masks saves lives

We need universal mask-wearing to aid in lowering COVID-19’s virality.

Cloth masks in public

CDC recommends the community use of cloth masks as an additional public health measure people can take to prevent the spread of virus to those around them.