MEF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All contributions are U.S. tax-deductible.
 
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If you prefer to donate by mail, please make check payable to Maya Educational Foundation and send to:
 
Maya Educational Foundation
P.O. Box 1483
Wellfleet, MA 02667, USA 
 
Or call us at:
 
Tel. (508) 349-1330
 
The Maya Educational Foundation supports the educational and professional advancement of the Maya people and neighboring indigenous cultures in southern Mexico, Belize and Central America, and sustains programs that foster study, preservation and understanding of those cultures.

 

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Current MEF Board Members and staff

Pablo Chavajay
President
is associate professor of psychology at the University of New Hampshire and has a licenciatura degree from the Universidad de San Carlos in Guatemala as well as a masters degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz. He has worked extensively with children and mothers in Guatemala and the U.S. in child development projects in school and after school programs. He has been a board member since 2008. 
Laura J. McClusky 
Vice-President
is an anthropologist who received her Ph.D. at the University at Buffalo in 1998. She is the author of "Here, Our Culture Is Hard": Stories of Domestic Violence in a Belizean Maya Community (University of Texas Press) which explores the means by which Maya women endure, escape and avoid domestic violence. Education is key to avoiding such violence as young educated Maya women help to re-define gender roles while struggling to maintain a Maya identity. Her work with Maya Educational Foundation focuses on the education of women and the ever-changing concept of a Maya identity in Belize. She is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at Wells College. 
José Ursúa
Treasurer
grew up in Mexico City, where he obtained a BA in Economics and a Law School degree at ITAM, both summa cum laude and ranking at the top of his class. His prize-winning thesis focused on the economic and legal underpinnings of a fiscal budget rule for Mexico. He worked for a few years at Mexico’s Central Bank and Finance Ministry, first as a research analyst, then as an economist. He went on to study a PhD in Economics at Harvard University. His dissertation work—advised by Professors Alberto Alesina, Robert Barro, John Campbell and Andrei Shleifer—focused on the intersection of Macroeconomics and Finance. Since then, his research has been published in top academic journals and discussed at forums around the world. From 2011 to 2014 he was an economist within the Global Macro and Markets research group at Goldman Sachs in New York. Starting in late-2014 he joined Dodge and Cox in San Francisco, where he took the role of macroeconomic analyst, among other responsibilities.
Elisabeth Nicholson
Director and
Secretary to the Board
has a master’s degree in English and Spanish from Heidelberg University, Germany and has worked with MEF since its inception as staff and volunteer supporter of the organization. She is MEF’s secretary and assists the board in all matters. She visits and maintains close ties with the projects and does MEF development work. After the closing of MEF's main office in Vermont in 2010, she accepted the Director's position and manages MEF's operations and programs.
Mitchell Denburg 
studied photography at The School of The Boston Museum of Fine Arts. His works are housed in many private collections and photographic archives including Tulane University, and the Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica (CIRMA) Photographic Archive, of which Mitchell was the founder. His work has been used to illustrate many articles and journals on development and anthropology, including the book Getting Ahead Collectively by Albert O. Hirschman. His forthcoming book The Portraits of Mitchell Denburg is currently in production. In 1998 together with his wife Elizabeth Habie, Mitchell founded the New Roots Foundation, dedicated to the rescue of young girls at risk and unique and endangered ecosystems in Guatemala.
Edward F. Fischer
is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University.  He has worked in Guatemala for over 25 years, conducting fieldwork in Tecpán and other Maya communities.  His books include Maya Cultural Activism in Guatemala (1996), Cultural Logics and Global Economies: Maya Identity in Thought and Practice (2001), Broccoli and Desire: Global Connections and Maya Struggles in Postwar Guatemala (2006, with Peter Benson), and most recently, The Good Life: Aspiration, Dignity, and the Anthropology of Wellbeing.  He is also the founder and director of Maní+, a program that combats childhood malnutrition in Guatemala.  More at www.tedfischer.org.
Christa Little-Siebold
is an adjunct professor of anthropology at College of the Atlantic. She was born and raised in Guatemala City where she studied anthropology at the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala. As part of her Licenciatura work at del Valle Christa did fieldwork in Maya communities of Chimaltenango, Sololá, and Sacatepéquez. She holds a Ph.D. and a Masters in anthropology from Tulane University. Her doctoral research was conducted in the Eastern Highlands of Guatemala focusing on local forms of identity, racism and definitions of ethnicity in the context of the 1990's politics of identity. She has taught students of College of the Atlantic in the Yucatan Peninsula and in Guatemala between 1998 to 2012. She has volunteered at the local schools where she currently lives in Ellsworth, Maine to create possibilities for outdoor hands-on learning opportunities as part of the school's curriculum. Together with her husband Todd Little-Siebold she has been active in the Guatemalan Scholars Network by helping organize the Network’s conference in Antigua, Guatemala in the summer of 2015.
Jean-Marie Simon
is the author of Guatemala: Eternal Spring, Eternal Tyranny (W.W. Norton, NY). She also edited three Spanish editions of the same, the most recent of which is available as an Apple Store/App in English and Spanish. Simon spent 36 years photographing Guatemala. She also investigated human rights violations on behalf of Amnesty International’s London Secretariat and for Human Rights Watch/NY, for whom she authored six reports on human rights violations in Guatemala between 1982 and 1990. Simon holds a B.S. from Georgetown University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
 
Honorary Board Members

John Farrow
was born in the US; raised and educated in France. Following lycee, he returned to the States to attend the University of Rochester where he studied comparative literature and received his undergraduate and graduate degrees. Since then he has lived on his Vermont farm. His company, Farrow Financial,offers investment and financial management services. During the past 15 years he has worked with businesses and not for profit foundations in Guatemala. For many years he was the treasurer of a Vermont regional mental health agency and currently is a board member of other not for profit organizations in the US.He remains involved with farming in Vermont as well as in Guatemala.
Carol Hendrickson
Professor Emerita of Anthropology, taught at Marlboro College for 25 years before retiring in 2014. She first went to Guatemala in 1973-4 as a volunteer with 4-H International and returned in 1979-81 for dissertation research in Tecpán Guatemala. Her interests have focused on identity issues with special emphasis on visual, material culture, and, in particular, the ways that traje (Maya clothing) reflects cultural meanings, social practices, and local understandings of issues such as gender, ethnicity, class, politics, and national identity. She is the author of Weaving Identities: Construction of Dress and Self in a Highland Guatemala Town (1995) and Tecpán Guatemala: A Modern Maya Town in Global and Local Context (2002, with Edward F. Fischer).
Christine Eber
holds her Ph.D. in anthropology from SUNY Buffalo and is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at New Mexico State University. Her research and applied work have focused on the gendered aspects of social change in highland Chiapas, Mexico, specifically Tzotzil-Maya women's participation in the Zapatista movement, weaving cooperatives, and the Catholic Church. She is author of Women and Alcohol in a Highland Maya Town: Water of Hope, Water of Sorrow, co-author with "Antonia" of The Journey of a Tzotzil-Maya Woman: Pass Well Over the Earth, and co-editor with Christine Kovic of Women of Chiapas: Making History in Times of Struggle and Hope. She is founding member of Weaving for Justice, a volunteer network that assists Maya weavers in Chiapas to sell their products through fair trade. 
E. Robert Greenberg is professor emeritus from Dartmouth Medical School, Senior Epidemiologist, Cancer Research and Biostatistics (CRAB) and Affiliate Member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Together with his wife Jane, Bob has created and directed the very successful English Language Program for MEF. For five years he gathered groups of volunteers from the US to travel to Guatemala to teach English to Mayan students for two weeks.
Christopher H. Lutz
holds a doctorate in history from the University Wisconsin-Madison. He is the managing director of Plumsock Mesoamerican Studies and former editor of Mesoamérica. A co-founder of MEF, he has long supported educational projects in Guatemala. He also co-founded the Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica (CIRMA), an internationally recognized social science research center in Antigua Guatemala, and is the author of a number of works, including Santiago de Guatemala 1541-1773: City, Caste, and the Colonial Experience.
Marilyn Moors 
(1934–2016)
received her MA degree in anthropology from The George Washington University and is professor emerita from Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland. She has worked on issues of the historic destruction of self‑sufficient agriculture in the Guatemalan highland in order to produce Maya labor for the coastal plantations. She is the co‑editor of The Maya Diaspora: Guatemalan Faces, New American Lives with James Loucky. A long‑time member, secretary, and supporter of the Guatemala Scholars Network.
Brenda Rosenbaum 
is the founder of Mayan Hands, an organization that works with Maya weavers' cooperatives. She has a PhD in anthropology from the State University of New York in Albany. She is the author of With Our Heads Bowed: the Dynamics of Gender in a Maya Community.
Mimi Laughlin
has been working with the women's cooperative FOMMA (Fortaleza de la Mujer Maya) since its creation. FOMMA is a Tseltal-Tsotsil women writers and theater group in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Its plays focus on Mayan women's problems in society. It has become a resource center offering job skills training, literacy classes, childcare and more. Miriam is the author of "Mayan Women Playwrights," Belles Lettres.
Robert Laughlin
an anthropologist, is Curator Emeritus of Mesoamerican ethnology in the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. He has been part of the Tsotsil-Tseltal Maya writers' cooperative Sna Jtz'ibajom since its creation in 1983 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. He is the author of numerous works, among others, "Tzotzil," The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures
 

Maya Educational Foundation • P.O. Box 1483 • Wellfleet, MA 02667, USA
Tel. (508) 349-1330 • Fax (508) 349-0252 • mef@mayaedufound.org