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

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

Videos:
Mayan Families- Ancianos Stories : Nisa East

Mayan Families Elderly Feeding Care Program : Rhett Hammerton

Facing Hunger: Elderly in Rural Guatemala



Sep 26, 2010

Rosa Rafaela - Sponsored



Rosa is so happy to have a sponsor! Thank you for making such a huge difference in her life.

Rosa Rafaela was widowed 30 years ago, and now lives with her daughter, Rebeca, and her 10-year-old granddaughter, who is one of our sponsored students.  Rosa is a sweet, youthful woman, and lucky to live with her loving family, but Rebeca can hardly afford to feed herself and her daughter, and she cannot support her mother.  Rosa’s other daughter, Sara, is also unable to help: she lost her home during hurricane Stan (2005), and now struggles to feed herself and her 20-year-old special needs daughter.

To support herself, Rosa Rafaela sells tacos, bread with beans, and tostados every morning at the schools around Panajachel.  She earns about $8 a week, which is not enough to pay for food, clothing, and shoes.  

Rosa and Rebeca's former home
Until just about a year ago, Rosa and her family faced a housing crisis. Rebeca had been paying rent for their residence, but became ill and could no longer work. When the rent was four months overdue, the family was evicted and left with nowhere to go. The stress left Rebeca, who already had ulcers, trembling with nerves for days. Mayan Families put them up in a room until they could get back on their feet and pay rent. 

Christmas '09, with a
beautiful gift package
We are very happy to soon be marking the one year anniversary of their new residence, where they have not had trouble with the landlord or making payments. Still, rent here runs very high--about $80 a month--and so the food and medical attention that Rosa is being afforded through sponsorship is critical and tremendously helpful.

In the third week of September we took Rosa to the doctor because of some eye and skin conditions that needed attention. Those issues are being attended to, and the doctor said that Rosa has the blood pressure of a quincea├▒era (fifteen-year-old)! We were all quite delighted to hear it, but not surprised!

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