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 15, 2011

Marcela Sleeping on Floor

Update April 19
Marcela now has a brand new thick blanket to ward off the cold night here. This, along with the bed and mattress will make such a big improvement to Marcela's health conditions. Thank you so much for making this happen!

Update April 7
Thanks to very generous donations, Marcela now has a brand new comfortable bed and mattress to sleep on.  Marcela has had a terribly tough life and she was so grateful to receive this gift which will make a wonderful improvement to her current living conditions. She also has a donation to pay for her medication for the month of April 2011, as well as for a supply of incaparina, a milk based drink fortified with vitamins and minerals. We cannot express our gratitude on Marcela's behalf.

Original Post
Marcela Coh Samines is 87 years old.  She lives alone in a house owned by her only surviving child.  This little home consists of two small rooms--one a kitchen, and the other what passes for a bedroom.  Sadly, this second room contains no bed.  Instead, Marcela sleeps on a thin grass mat on the floor.  Until we gave her two more blankets that had been donated, she had only two blankets to keep her warm and cushion her from the hard ground. 

Though she suffers from asthma, she usually can't afford to buy the medication that she needs, which costs $23 per month, and she often suffers from a cough or wheezing.  She has electricity, but she doesn't have water connected, so she must carry her water from the communal water source in the center of town.

The bare ground where Marcela sleeps.
Though her life is full of hardships, the one she most wants help with is hunger.  The lunch she gets from Mayan Families is her only steady source of food, and breakfast and dinner are luxuries she often can't afford.

Marcela's life could be made a lot more comfortable with a few simple changes.  A single bed and mattress to get her off of the floor would cost just $75.  A contribution towards her asthma medicine would make the simple act of breathing easier.  And a little bit of help, especially monthly help, to buy some staple foods would help make sure that she doesn't pass the entire time between lunches without eating.  If you would like to make a contribution to help Marcela, you can do so at Donate Now.  Enter your donation in the "Other" box, and enter "A36" in the details (The 'A' stands for 'anciano', or elderly person).  Thank you!

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