Our Mission is to provide advisory support to the women and raise funds for the programs UPAVIM offers in Guatemala.

UPAVIM Community Development Foundation (UCDF)

UCDF – The UPAVIM Community Development Foundation is a registered 501c3 organization founded in 2003 and located in the United States.  The Foundations express mission is to advise and raise money for the many  projects  UPAVIM in Guatemala provides and manages for their community.

The voluntary UCDF Board is comprised of dedicated people with a strong interest in UPAVIM usually stemming from some affiliation. Many of the Board members have previously lived and volunteered at UPAVIM but this is not a prerequisite and anyone willing to help is welcome to apply and join the board.  Our volunteers represent several countries, work in various jobs from lawyers, stock brokers, midwives, college professors, translators, Montessori teachers, social workers. students, sales, retirees and more.  They work for organizations such as Save the Children and other non-profits.  What the Board members all have in common is a special skill to offer, a strong admiration for UPAVIM and a desire to help the women and see them as well as UPAVIM thrive and succeed.

2020-2021 UCDF Board

Mary Joan Ferrara Marsland – President and Crafts Advisor

Deborah Osborn – Secretary

Linda Wiley – Assistant Secretary

Janessa Landeck – Treasurer

Barbara Lorraine – UPAVIM General Advisor

Stephanie McGrath –  Montessori School Advisor/Volunteer Coordinator

Ellie Friedland – Education Advisor

Ed Murphy – Grants Coordinator

Linda Billotti – Scholarship Coordinator

Jennie Trayes – Newsletter Coordinator

Meagan Maddock – Special Becas Coordinator

Estuardo Cobo – Guatemala Based Business Advisor

Greg Norman – Board Member

Current Fundraising

The March 2020 board meeting occurred just before the COVID 19 pandemic reached a crisis level worldwide.  The main fundraising focus for this year was going to be the school and scholarships. Of course they also raise money for other areas too but these were the main focus.

Once COVID 19 became a part of all of our lives, Guatemala’s President fortunately took strict measures early on.  A pandemic of this proportion is something the country cannot deal with with its current infrastructure and the poverty that pervades this country.

Of course craft sales came to a halt so working from home was not even an option. UPAVIM’s school closed and no one was allowed to work in the building. The women panicked not only for fear of contracting the disease but also the anxiety of how they would  their feed families?

The Board met immediately so there would be no break in payments to the women. They agreed to use funds raised for the 2020 years projects, and diverted those funds to helping the women stay afloat. The Board is committed to keeping this going and to respond to needs as they arise by raising funds and using endowment money until life can go back to normal.  Of course no one knows how long this will go on and if they can sustain it.

If you can help please go to the donation page under SUPPORT and know that everyone at UPAVIM and UCDF appreciate anything you can give at this trying time. Thank you!

Interested in Joining the Board?

If you think you have something to offer and are interested in joining the UCDF Board let us know! It is a rewarding and interesting experience.

Members attend the annual board meeting either in person or online. Board members are highly encouraged to attend the annual meeting in-person if at all possible.  It’s a good way to get to know your fellow board members and it’s fun.  The meetings are usually hosted by a member in Columbia, MD.  Any travel expenses are the responsibility of individual board members.  The Board also holds one to 2 online board meeting per year  where attendance is needed.

In general the expectations are as follows:

Board members commit to raising at least $1000 annually for UCDF and more if possible. This can be accomplished through a personal donation or through a personal fundraising project.

The Board encourages members to commit to working on at least one collective fundraising campaign each year.  There are many so this is easy to do and helps reach your $1000 goal!

Building partnerships with local community groups (churches, civic groups, school) helps too. Approach a local group and seek a donation for UPAVIM either from the group as a whole or from individual members.  Seek out opportunities to share the story of UPAVIM in your local community.

Lastly board members are expected to follow through on any commitments they make to the group including providing updates on projects, working on fundraising campaigns, updating progress charts, etc. and to respond promptly to emails concerning UDCF business.

Let us know if you would like to join the board!  Please contact us at learnmore@upavim.org for more information.