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

Dec 6, 2010

Josefa Quechi - Sponsored

Feb 2011
Josefa receiving some of her donations
December 8, 2010 - Josefa Quechi is 83 years old and lives with her 56-year-old daughter and primary caretaker, Juacina. Josefa and her husband bought the house that she still lives in 35 years ago—5 years before her husband passed away. Since then Josefa and Juacina, who was never married, have been living together.
Josefa receiving diaper donations
Josefa broke her leg in Dec 2009 and has since then been confined to her bed and a bedside chair because she can no longer walk. Josefa has 6 children (3 sons and 3 daughters) and 13 grandchildren—She had 14 grandchildren but one passed away. All but one son live in the same town, Panajachel, but because Josefa’s children are struggling with their own families' needs, Josefa relies on her sponsorship, the lunches we bring her, and Juacina's care. Except for the occasional sale of homemade popsicles, Juacina hasn’t been working for 8 years because her mother eventually needed fulltime support and because good work is very hard to come by. Juacina and Josefa’s diets mainly consist of beans, onions, and tortillas (now in addition to Josefa’s daily Mayan Families lunch). Fortunately they do not have to pay rent, so Juacina’s main expenses are the electricity and food. Josefa has been using diapers since she became bedridden, and she takes two types of pain and anti-inflammatory medicines to help deal with her slow recovery.
Josefa and her daughter, Juacina, in the
bedroom that they share

Josefa is deeply religious, and one of her sons is a pastor. She was very enthusiastic when we had a pastor from Indiana visit our elderly clients (in November 2010). They prayed and cried together for a long time. Josefa tends to well up when she talks about faith and her condition, but she normally greets us with a wonderful smile and lots of energy, as well as hugs and kisses!

Thanks to wonderful support from donors, Josefa has enough support to cover the cost of her diapers and pain medicines. Whatever is leftover from the monthly donation Josefa receives (after the cost of Josefa's medical needs is deducted) is used to buy food for the family. This is a tremendous help for the family, and one that Josefa would suffer without. Josefa and Mayan Families send deepest thanks to her sponsors.
If you are coming to Guatemala and would like to bring something for Josefa, we know that she would love Spanish-language Christian gifts. Thank you so much!

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