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 7, 2010

Juliana Tun Xicajay

 *November 28, 2010 Update*
 Juliana just got donations for a mattress, a water filter, 8 months of food support, and a tamale basket!!! Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity. We´ll be sure to keep you updated and show you photos when she receives all of these gifts--What joy for the holidays!

Juliana receiving her new mattress on December 9th

Meet Juliana

Juliana is 78 years old and has been living alone since her husband died 11 years ago. They suffered the tragic loss of ten of their eleven sons. Eight of their sons died when they were children, and two died in their adulthood. Juliana lives in Santa Maria, a town near Solola, and comes to Panajachel to work selling clothes and tablecloths. Business has been terrible; normally she sells nothing at all and needs to beg for the busfare to get back home. The only thing that she has to eat is the lunch and occasional bag of grain that we bring her, and edible herbs that she can find on the ground.

Juliana with some of the items she tries to sell
Juliana desperately needs more food. Her only son Mariano, who makes skirts, struggles to feed his own children because he only makes $35 per week on the rare occasions that he finds work. He usually cannot help her. Juliana suffers pain in her joints and fatigue, and she needs dental care. She is a sweet woman and speaks very little Spanish, so we communicate with her in Kaqchiquel. Your sponsorship would lift Juliana from the brink of starvation and would help her get the medical care that she needs. As a one-time gift option, a food basket ($35) for Juliana would also be a great help, as would be a single mattress ($30) or a water filter ($50). To make a one time donation for Juliana, please click here and enter "Elderly Care, Juliana [details]" in the Other section. To sponsor Juliana with a monthly donation (that would go towards food and any other urgent need), please click here and enter "Elderly Care, Juliana" in the Other Program section.

We recently visited Juliana in her remote home in Santa Maria. By car, it took us almost an hour to get there! This is the trip that Juliana makes twice daily by a combination of bus, pickup truck, and boat. For more photos of Juliana's home and family, click here

Juliana's bed. She has no mattress; Juliana sleeps on a broken
straw mat. 
Juliana in front of her house in Santa Maria
Juliana in her kitchen. She used to sleep here, too,
until the rain that came through the broken roof
and cracked walls became unbearable. Now
Juliana sleeps in a room in her son's home.
Juliana in a garden near her house

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