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



Mar 17, 2011

Alejandro Samines Saput

Alejandro with his new blanket!
Update April 7th
Thanks so much to generous donations, Alejandro now has a nice thick blanket to ward off the cold mountain air at night. He also has his first month of pain medication paid for. Thank you!


Original Post
Alejandro Samines Saput is 89 years old and lives alone following the death of his wife two years ago. He lives in a one room, dirt, floor house owned by his daughter.  Though Alejandro doesn't cook, the soot from the open fire he uses to heat his coffee each day has blackened the walls and ceiling of the house.

Alejandro can not work because he has trouble moving the right side of his body, and must always rely heavily on his cane to get around. Alejandro's health problems unfortunately do not end there--he can barely hear, and is plagued by painful cramps in his leg, which is badly scarred from a fall several years ago (he could not remember the exact date). 

He is lucky to have a daughter that can provide some support, though it isn't much.  She brings him a small amount of food weekly, which is all she can spare, as she is a widow who supports herself, her son, and her blind mother-in-law on the small salary she earns washing clothes in Panajachel.  Alejandro's only guaranteed meal is the lunch that is provided by the Mayan Families facility in San Jorge. Despite all the hardship in his life, Alejandro still has a wonderful upbeat personality. When asked (via his grandson, who shouted into his ear in Kaqchiquel) if he needed a mattress for his bed, he grinned and laughed, and pantomimed falling backwards and being swallowed up by his bed.  He doesn't like the sinking feeling of a soft mattress, so he's content with the grass mats on his bed, though he did admit, shyly, that he would like more blankets to ward off the mountain air at night.
A heavy wool blanket to keep Alejandro warmer at night can be bought for $20. We would also as like to provide him with pain medicine, which costs $8 per month.

 Alejandro also does not have a water filter.  A filter can be purchased for $50, which includes the filter and two filter cartridges that will provide him with clean water for between one and two years.

If you would like to provide Don Alejandro with some of these basic comforts, you can do so at Donate Now, by entering the amount of your donation in the "Other" box, and "A33" under "Details."

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