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This October marks our 3rd Annual Golden Donation Month and we couldn't be more excited and privileged to be supporting – with your help – Na'atik Language and Culture Institute in the town of Felipe Carrillo Puerto on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico!

This month a percentage of our sales on will directly help at least one young local Mayan student by funding their English language schooling at Na'atik for an entire year. 

Thanks to my brother (Vicki's son!) Andrew, who is currently teaching English at this thriving and highly rated immersive language school, we were introduced to this amazing opportunity. Like Andrew said, "Many families in the Maya region of Felipe Carrillo Puerto are unable to afford extra education for themselves or their children, education that would open the doors of many more opportunities for them. If you've been donating money to a very large, but seemingly 'distant' charity or organization for which you don't feel you're making a large impact, please consider fundraising a Na'atik student. Na'atik is something special, something small, and something tangible."

Hearing first hand Andrew's stories about the playful and eager young students, and the hours and hours of hard work he's contributed as a teacher and advocate of the school, this opportunity hit home and felt right. 

Na'atik was founded by Seattle native Catherine Gray (now dual citizen US/Mexico) and her Mexican-Maya husband Pedro Esquivel Puc in 2010. Catherine first started teaching private English classes in town in a rented house and as demand grew, she had to quickly co-opt both the bedroom and the porch for class space.

Catherine and Pedro quickly learned how many young people wanted to study but simply couldn't afford it.  Not willing to turn students away, and wanting to provide a safe space for learning, they expanded the program, hiring native English-speaking teachers from around the world to teach affordable English classes for the local community.

In 2012, Catherine and Pedro purchased land and built a spacious, beautiful, ecological school building with gardens and all-modern facilities.

It is now a thriving language school with over 160 students of all ages and has welcomed SAY (Study Abroad Yucatan) students from the U.S., Canada, England, New Zealand and Australia.

Read more about Na'atik's story here. 

We just want to say thank you once again for supporting small business. Vicki and I feel like Na'atik fits right in this "small" model too, being a relatively small non-profit changing the lives of children!

Only a few Na'atik students currently remain to be sponsored. Together we will support one or more of these students studies for the entire year! We can't wait!

[photos 1,2,3 via]

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