A Time for Gratitude

I share our latest Annual Report with an abundance of gratitude. The last year has been a pivotal one for Mayan Hands as we crafted an exciting new strategic plan and now welcome a new Executive Director, Madeline Kreider Carlson, to lead our organization as I retire.

I fell in love with Mayan Hands years ago, never dreaming I’d have the honor and privilege to lead and represent this very special organization. Doing so has been one of the greatest joys of my life. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have served as Executive Director and am equally humbled by the confidence and faith that has been placed in me.

I offer my gratitude to our artisan partners, the very heart and soul of Mayan Hands. I’m nothing less than awed by their creativity and talent. Their perseverance in the face of obstacles inspires us all. The beauty they create through the work of their hands contributes to a deeper understanding of our shared humanity.


The respect I feel for our staff in the US and in Guatemala, for what they do to make Mayan Hands’ mission a reality, is immeasurable. The support of the Mayan Hands community – donors, volunteers, customers, a network of fair trade advocates and colleagues, and lovers of Maya cultural traditions – who believe in the value of our work makes this mission possible. Mayan Hands wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you.

Thank you to our board members who have guided our work. Your collective wisdom and countless contributions have helped shape Mayan Hands into the organization we all know and love. Finally and especially, I want to thank Mayan Hands founders, Brenda and Fredy Rosenbaum. I’ve been so fortunate to build upon their vision and to have had Brenda’s support and guidance at every turn.

Our collective accomplishments have been remarkable. We’ve expanded to welcome new cooperatives of talented women artisans and increased scholarships for Indigenous girls. Sales of beautiful handmade creations have grown year after year so that, with the support of our community, Mayan Hands’ finances are the healthiest in our history and we are poised for growth. Our new strategic plan outlines an exciting path forward, grounded in our mission and vision. Right now, we are taking our first steps to create new programs that will address critical needs like access to health care.

I’m thrilled to welcome Madeline as our next Executive Director. I’ve known and respected her for years and I am excited for the new energy and ideas she will bring to Mayan Hands. I believe Mayan Hands’ brightest days are ahead and I look forward to watching and contributing to its success.

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