Rocks of Sumidero Canyon National Park, Chipas, Mexico.

History

Natik began as the International Humanitarian Foundation (IHF) in 2002. Founded by Amish Parashar, David Morse, Jesse Rocicki, and Kathleen Reeder, all students at Dartmouth and Harvard, the IHF was incorporated in 2003 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

The founders, inspired by experiences in communities throughout the developing world, wanted to create a new type of international development organization: one that would tap the vast potential for reciprocal partnerships between students in the U.S. and communities abroad. The IHF was thus originally formed around the model of university chapters, which began at Dartmouth in 2003 and Haverford College in 2004 and expanded to Brown University and Tufts University in 2007. Throughout those years, the chapters developed relationships with community organizations in Costa Rica, India, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, and Honduras and worked in fields such as health, technology, education, and micro-enterprise.

In 2010, the organization began work to change its structure to deepen its impact in regions with particularly strong partnerships. As the result of extensive investigation, consideration, and debate, the IHF decided to focus on partner organizations in Chiapas, Mexico, and Santiago Atitlán, Gautemala. This shift replaced the university chapter model with a focus on working with local partners towards specific development goals.


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The hummingbird is a perfect symbol for Natik—it’s small size, responsiveness, incessant energy and determination.


Our Board of Directors renamed the IHF as Natik in 2012. Meaning “we sow” in Tzutujil Mayan and “our house” in Tzotzil and Ch’ol Mayan, our name highlights our two primary areas of engagement (Guatemala and Chiapas), as well as our support for vibrant, community-based organizations through transformative international relationships. The hummingbird on our logo is a perfect symbol for Natik--it's small size, responsiveness, incessant energy and determination.

Since the founding of the first chapter in 2003, Natik is committed to needs-driven, sustainable development solutions that maximize the potential for reciprocal relationships between students and professionals in the U.S. and their dedicated counterparts in communities in Chiapas and Guatemala. Natik’s direct approach to challenges, flexibility in trying new strategies, and willingness to adapt to ever-changing circumstances keeps us light-hearted, invigorated, and with hope for the future.

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