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 26, 2010

Ssshhh Don't Tell Pedro!

Pedro's room from the outside
Pedro's new room from the outside
Tuesday, October 26, 2010 -- Hi all. It's Ronnie, a volunteer with Mayan Families, and I have great news about our progress with Pedro's housing. We have thus far received over three months' rent for Pedro's new room and pledges for at least ten more months, for a total of over a year's worth of rent! We've also gotten the money to buy Pedro a new bed, mattress, water filter (no more parasites!), blankets, pillow, table, chairs, and perhaps a dresser--a fully furnished room!

I just came back from looking at the room that we'll be renting for Pedro, and it's lovely. There is light, an electrical outlet, a window, a solid door, a cement floor and cinder block walls that actually keep out the wind and rain, and access to a clean (and almost private) bathroom and shower--not to mention a bit of color and sunshine! Coming from his old place, I think (director) Sharon put it right when she said that Pedro will likely feel like he just won the lottery. What's more: The new place is right by the shed that he currently lives in, and so Pedro will get to stay close to the kind neighbors who have been looking out for him (helping him take his medicine, giving him extra food when they can afford it, washing his clothes, etc).
Pedro's room from the inside
Pedro's new room from the inside

Tomorrow we'll be buying the furniture and setting up, and on the 1st of November we'll be moving Pedro into the new place--And it's all a surprise! (We didn't want to promise Pedro anything until we were absolutely sure we could offer it, and since there are now just a few days left until move-in is allowed, we thought it'd be nice to wait a bit longer so as to present the room in ready condition.) Along with the Mayan Families staff members who have been helping with this project, I cannot wait for the big day and to share it all with you.

Today during the lunch run I asked Pedro if he needed anything. I was referring to medicine refills, but I wasn't very clear and so Pedro misunderstood. He told me that, if I could find one, a piece of furniture to put his clothes in would be really nice--Pedro currently keeps his clothes in cardboard boxes on top of his bed, which is very small to begin with. One of his neighbors, a bubbly woman, jokingly asked if the dresser was really for a lady (75-year-old Pedro has never been married). Pedro nodded and then laughed and laughed with the rest of us. I told him that tomorrow I'd look for a dresser.

Pedro's room and bathroom
Pedro's room and bathroom. Right next to the bathroom
is a sink and clean shower that Pedro will have access to.
View of the back corner of the room
View of the back corner of the room. It extends
over 5 feet beyond where the window (on the
left) ends.
While huge strides have already been made, we can still use your help in securing Pedro's rent, which is $65 a month. To make a one-time donation towards Pedro's rent, please click here and enter "Elderly Care, Pedro" in the Other section. To make a monthly donation towards his rent, please click here and enter "Elderly Care, Pedro" in the Other Program section. Thank you!

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