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

Mar 31, 2011

Filomena Cun Palax

Filomena and her grown son, Felipe, lives in a little shack with no water, stove, electricity, or toilet. Felipe has some developmental disabilities; he has never been able to speak, though he can understand and perform simple tasks. Polimena never had the money for a doctor to properly diagnose Felipe, much less get him treatment.  Despite the challenges Felipe faces, he is their sole breadwinner. He works cleaning onions, which is one of the lowest paid and least stable types of day labor.  

They have virtually nothing.  They have no beds, nor even much room on the floor of their small shed, so neighbors let them sleep on the floor of their store room.  Though their home is high in the hills of San Jorge and temperatures drop significantly at night, Polimena and Felipe have only two or three blankets between them. 
Polimena and Felipe's single-room home.

They must also rely on the kindness of neighbors for water--sometimes they are able to borrow water from the neighbor's tap, but the rest of the time Polimena, who can't remember her age but is certainly too old for physical labor, must carry water from the communal tank in the center of town up the long, steep hill to their house.  They do not have a water filter, so whether their water comes from the neighbors or the center of town, it is contaminated.

The open fire that they use to cook.
If you would like to help Polimena and Felipe, with a bed ($170 for double bed and mattress), a water filter ($50 for the filter and cartridges which will last up to 2 years), a fuel-efficient stove ($160), firewood, or, most basically, food, you can do so on the Donate Now page, by entering the amount of your donation in the 'Other' box, and "filter (or stove, bed, etc.) for A42" in the 'details' box.  Thank you!

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