Elderly Info

The food crisis in Guatemala is having a devastating effect on the elderly. Without enough to eat, many older people are becoming weak and malnourished, leaving them more vulnerable to illnesses that they cannot afford medical care for. They are unable to provide for even their most basic needs. In many cases, family members are unable to help as they struggle to feed themselves and their own children, leaving the elderly without any form of support and often living in heartbreaking conditions.

Please help us bring them the life-sustaining food and medical care that they so desperately need. General donations are used to ensure that we always have an adequate supply of food, medicine, and funds for meals, necessary medical treatment, and transportation. Monthly sponsorship would help feed one person, once a day for five days a week. Via blog and web album, we'll show you exactly where your aid is going and help you get to know the men and women whose lives you are changing.

If you would like to sponsor an elderly person for $35 a month, please click here and write "monthly sponsorship'' in the Other box. To make a one-time donation for medicine, rent, or other costs, please click here and enter "Elderly Care Program" in the Other box. Any questions can be directed to Amy at amy@mayanfamilies.org

Media on Mayan Families Elderly

Ancianos : Megan Gette + photos by Rob Bain, Nisa East, Rhett Hammerton and Hiroko Tanaka

Mayan Families- Ancianos Stories : Nisa East

Mayan Families Elderly Feeding Care Program : Rhett Hammerton

Facing Hunger: Elderly in Rural Guatemala

Oct 19, 2013

New Blog posts are now located on our web site!

Hi everyone,
We have switched all of our Blogs over to our Mayan Families New Web Site. Please visit this link from now on to enjoy or new Blog posts!

Oct 17, 2013

Sad News About Our Dear Anciano Santiago (A-75)

This morning we were notified that one of our dear ancianos, Santiago (A-75) was not well. We sent our doctor to his house and Santiago’s lungs were full of liquid. Dr. Louis tried to give Santiago some medicine but he was not able to swallow the medicine well.  Thirty minutes ago a member of Santiago’s family came running to Mayan Families because they were concerned that Santiago was no longer breathing. I accompanied a doctor to the house to check on Santiago, and unfortunately Santiago was no longer breathing and had passed away in his bed just a few minutes prior. Santiago’s wife began to sob as the other family members began to heat up water in order to bathe Santiago one last time. Not only is the family devastated about losing their dear Santiago, but they are also concerned because they do not have enough money for corn to eat, much less enough money to cover the costs of a casket and burial. Santiago had no children and his wife only makes a small amount of money selling vegetables in the market. We are looking for a donation of $250 to help out Santiago’s family so that they can buy him a casket and cover the expenses of giving him a proper burial. 

If you would like to help out with the cost of Santiago's casket and burial please click here and under General donations, please enter "A-75" and "A-75 casket and burial" in the Notes section.

Sep 12, 2013

More Good News!

Ramos (A-8) was able to visit an ophthalmologist & get medicine thanks to a donation to his medical needs!

Petrona (A-88) received a water filter & table!

Felipa (A-38) received a food basket , firewood, pillow, comforter, corn, medical care & medicine!!

Thank you so much to our wonderful sponsors & donors!!!

Jun 26, 2013

Ancianos video!

Filmmaker Nisa East and I interviewed a few of our Ancianos for their stories. Featured in the video are sponsored ancianos Celestina Simion, Gregoria Perez, and Ramos Cumes, as well as unsponsored anciana Cecila Bocel.

Mayan Families - Ancianos Stories from Nisa East on Vimeo.

(To see the video bigger and better, click here.) 

If you would like to sponsor an anciano to eat 5 days a week, or donate one time to any of their needs, click here. Write the A-# and [need] in the Other box.

See more of Nisa's work, as well as my stories and photos from other talented artists that have come through Mayan Families by purchasing a book compiled of our elderly participants. All profits go to the Elderly! You can preview and purchase the book here

Thank you!

Jun 21, 2013

Good news!

Celestina A-53 gets her door repaired!

Pedro A-6 is now sponsored for meals, medicine AND rent for his home!

Alberta A-49 receives blankets and sheets for her bed.

Miguel A-24 receives a pad to make his bedridden life more comfortable, and much needed medicines.

Socrorro A-94, Petrona A-88, Felipa A-38 and Miguel A-25 receive medical attention.

 Josefa A-18 receives diapers, Ramos A-8 receives new clothes, and Tereso A-2 receives Ensure.

Thank you so much!

Jun 20, 2013

Adrian Motta

(A-79) Status: Not Sponsored
Needs: materials to construct a room, water filter, meal sponsorship, Ensure
To provide meal sponsorship or Ensure for Adrian at $35 each a month, click here.
Read previous stories about Adrian here.
For more stories and photos of the ancianos in the Feeding Program, please consider purchasing a book compiled of our participants. All profits go to the Elderly. You can preview the book here.  

UPDATE September 16, 2013:  Adrian's daughter was able to purchase a lot of land in a nearby town of San Andres so she will be moving soon. They would like to move Adrian with them to San Andres, otherwise he will be left alone with no one to care for him.Unfortunately, they do not have enough money to construct an additional room for him on their new land. The cost for materials and building of this room is around $770. If Adrian is able to move to San Andres with his daughter he will be too far away to commute daily to receive his meal from Mayan Families as the trip is too far and too expensive. However his daughter would be able to provide him some food and we would like to provide him with a monthly donation of Ensure.

"Thank god he isn't sick right now, thank god," says Adrian's daughter. She lives with her father, son, sister and brother-in-law in the same complex. "When we asked Mayan Families for help some years ago, he was so thin. So thin. Really malnourished. So they entered him in the program and now at least he's getting a meal once a day. They got him taking Ensure and he started putting on weight. Even so he loses it all really fast-- he just doesn't want to eat a lot of the time."

Adrian had been living elsewhere, sleeping and spending most of his day on an old door, without so much as a few blankets to soften it. Thanks to donations he now has a bed and mattress, and is now living with his family. He doesn't hear well nor speak much these days, and his daughter walks to the office to get his food each day. 

"I wash clothes for a living, but it's hardly enough. My son works waiting tables. My brother-in-law is diabetic and walks around on crutches because of the pain in his legs. I was, am so sad sometimes for my Papa. He just can't do anything for himself anymore. He was so thin. But thank god he isn't sick, there are no medicines to buy."

Juana Cumes

(A-90) Status: Not Sponsored
Needs: $35 meal sponsorship, $25 rent assistance, water filter, bathroom
To provide sponsorship for Juana, click here.
To donate one-time to her needs, click here.

We meet Juana and her daughter outside the small juice stand on the street, where another daughter makes her living. They lead us to a tiny room, hot as an oven, piled with storage boxes and a small bed. A grill that serves as Juana's kitchen is on the floor with a single orange perched over the coals. There is not enough room for three of us to stand, and so Juana sits on the bed while we speak with her daughter outside.

"Two years ago, she was walking around this corner and a motorcycle hit her. Nearly cut her leg in two. She's not been in very good health since then. My father left me, my mother and my two sisters when I was a kid. We never got to go to school. I wash clothes for a living, my sister has her juice. The other was lucky enough to get a husband who is a day-laborer, but even that's not a steady job.

I think the worst part is that my mother doesn't own this little room or the bathroom that's just a sink on the ground. She has to pay the rent. She drinks a little atol (a hot corn drink) in the mornings but other than the lunch at Mayan Families she doesn't get much to eat."

Juana is smiling anyway, and brings a tissue to her nose every few seconds to combat her cold. Her daughter says, "my sister's diabetic, mom has high blood pressure. But where do we get the money to treat these things?"

If you would like to provide Juana with any of her needs, please visit the links at the top of the page. Questions may be directed at familyaid@mayanfamilies.org