History and Description of the Board


What is MAIA?

The Maya Arvigo® International Association (MAIA) is a professional organization chartered to support Arvigo® Practitioners and advance the profession. MAIA works closely with the Arvigo Institute which acts in a fiduciary role collecting Association dues. MAIA provides means for networking, practice development, web development and management, newsletters, advertising, and office support. All persons upon completing our Professional Training Course are enrolled as MAIA members by the Arvigo Institute which, from its inception, has managed and operated MAIA for the benefit of existing practitioners.  Annual renewal dues are collected by the Arvigo Institute.  The MAIA Board works collaboratively with the  Institute providing support to its membership. .

How has MAIA evolved?

The history of any organization is important and necessary to maintain as a guide for our future development. Our Association (Maya Arvigo® International Association; MAIA) is now firmly established as its own entity, with officers, bylaws and responsibilities to members. But first, let’s look at our history. As author Pearl S. Buck said “One faces the future with one’s past.”

In April 2002 in Belize, The Board of Directors for The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage (ATMAM) was created to be a clinical advisor to the Arvigo Institute: “The Board of Directors of the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage will provide integrity, guidance, continuity and oversight for the profession with respect and honor for the Maya tradition and lineage of Don Elijio Panti”.

In April 2004 at the first convention held in Cozumel, the Maya Abdominal Massage Association (MAMA) was established by the Arvigo Institute to assist the Institute in providing support to practitioners. The annual dues would help to defray the cost of revising the website, ongoing management, newsletters, office support, advertising, etc.

By August 2006, conversation with the Arvigo Institute legal counsel declared that we needed to ensure we have a clear structure in place. Reflecting on different points of view, it became apparent that we had structure, but it was not consistently understood among the community of Arvigo Practitioners. We realized that we needed to distinguish between the Arvigo Institute, Board, and the Association.

When created, the Board of Directors was elected from among the community of Arvigo Practitioners. Over time it became clear that there was some confusion about the Board’s role. To better reflect its role, the name of the Board was changed to the  Steering Committee. The Steering Committee was a forum of the Arvigo Institute which served as clinical advisor to the Arvigo Institute on matters of clinical practice, workshop content, policy making relating to education, etc. Steering Committee members were all Certified  Practitioners and were appointed to the Committee by Rosita Arvigo based on their professional and clinical backgrounds, their level of mastery of the techniques, and their continued interest and service to the profession.

It became apparent that the Association of practitioners needed to develop a set of bylaws to advance our work and profession. The Steering Committee and the  Institute began the groundwork to draft a proposed set of bylaws and structure. In preparation for Convention 2007, the Steering Committee had drafted a set of Bylaws and call for officers for the first elected Board of Directors for the Association. Vivian Boyer, President, Vivian Menjivar, Vice President, Patience Harvey, Treasurer, and Suzi Wilkoff, Secretary were elected to their respective positions in the Fall of 2007. Their first order of business was to further develop the draft bylaws to be voted on by the membership.

The members voted to accept the By Laws in the Spring of 2008.

The Association continues to collaborate with the Institute to support the development of the profession worldwide. In 2014 the bylaws were reviewed, amended and approved.  In addition, the membership voted to change the name to Maya Arvigo International Association (MAIA) to reflect the worldwide presence we have.


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