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

Aug 16, 2011

Update: Maximiliana had a stroke

January 30, 2013: Maximiliana is now sponsored for both the Feeding Program, AND her insulin costs! Thank you so much to her sponsors. 

Update August 2011

Maximiliana, Manuel and Miguel's sister, had a stroke last week. Fortunately, she didn't suffer any brain damage and will be fine. However, she will have to stay in bed and take medicine until she is fully recovered.

Her medications cost $62 per month. If you want to help Maximiliana get better, please click donate now, scroll down to the other box and enter A26 - Medical Care. Any amount will be greatly appreciated.

If you have any questions please send an email to dina@mayanfamilies.org.

Thank you!

Update May 6th
Thanks so much to generous donations, Manuel got a brand new mattress for his bed. He is so grateful!!
Thank you to those who made this possible.

Update Feb 18th 2011--Manuel Needs a Mattress!
Manuel's bug-ridden mattress

Manuel's thin cotton mattress is dirty and flattened with years of use, and we found out this week that it is infested with fleas or bedbugs.  We can get Manuel a new mattress for just $45.  If you would like to help make Manuel's nights more comfortable, please go to Donate Now, and enter the amount of your donation in the "Other" box, with "A25 mattress" in the description.  Thank you!

Update Feb 14th 2011 
We distributed vitamins to Manuel, Miguel and Maximiliana today and we asked them how they are and if they are in need of anything. They are very grateful to be receiving the Mayan Families lunch everyday. Although Miguel has been bedbound since an accident at work years ago, he is continuing to do his exercises from bed - to ensure he doesn't get bed sores or suffer too much muscle deterioration. This same accident resulted in brain damage as well leaving him unable to walk. He has since been unable to form sentences, but he is always delighted to see us. Manuel has been doing much better with his health concerns, but we are keeping an eye on him and his niece is always attentive to his medical and health needs. If you would like to make a donation to Manuel, Miguel and Maximiliana to ensure we can continue bringing them lunches and provide for their medicines please go to the donate now page, scroll down to the other box and enter A24 for Miguel, A25 for Manuel, and/or A26 for Maximiliana. Thank you for your support.

* December 9, 2010 Update *

We have received $100 for Manuel's initial examinations and medications.

We're now awaiting some lab results to find out what the next steps should be and will be sure to keep you posted! Thank you so much for your support.


Manuel on December 8th
We have just been informed that Manuel Parajon, one of our Elderly Care Program members, is suffering from a very badly inflamed prostate. He has been using a catheter for two years, and it has recently been filling up with blood. The family rushed him to the public health clinic, where doctors recommended ultrasound examinations and lab tests as soon as possible in order to determine the source of the problem and whether Manuel needs an operation.

Manuel is a very sweet 78 year old man. He lives with his sister Maximiliana and his brother Miguel, who are both also in our Elderly Care Program. Manuel was born with a mental disorder (we are not told what) and cannot speak, but he always communicates such joy with huge (ear to ear!) grins and laughter. He loves Mayan Families visits, and his reaction when we come at lunchtime always brings us and his family to smiles, and often to laughs. For the past 40 years Manuel has been living with Maximiliana. He was never married and does not have children; Maximiliana, Manuel, and Maximiliana’s children are his closest family. Maximiliana’s 38-year-old daughter, Pati, also takes care of Manuel and Miguel, especially now that Maximiliana is finding herself with less energy than in her younger years.
Manuel just last week, receiving a donation of towels, soap, and a blanket. There is an obvious, dramatic difference between him then and now (see the first photo).

Manuel started having prostate problems two years ago. He has been using a catheter since then. He used to take medicine, but since Pati got very sick 4 months ago with major hernia, the family hasn’t been able to afford it for him.

The past few days have been the first that we have seen Manuel not smiling. He urgently needs medical attention, but Pati’s illness has drained the family of their resources and they simply cannot pay for it—In this family of 15, there are 11 dependents, including 8 children and 2 very unwell adults, and only 3 adults earning very low and very inconsistent wages (about $20/month each). Please help Manuel get examined and treated as soon as possible. We estimate that $100 will cover preliminary examinations and temporary medications to ensure that Manuel remains stable until further treatment, and we'll update the blog as soon as we have more exact cost information. To make a donation, please click here and enter “Elderly Care, Manuel Parajon” in the Other box. We will be sure to keep you updated on his condition. Thank you so much for your time and support.

Miguel on November 9th, receiving some clothes donations, and very excited about it!

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