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

Oct 14, 2011

Tropical Storm Update of our Elderly

The brothers in the shelter
We are so relieved to report that most of those in our Elderly Care Program are doing well after the Tropical Storm that recently hit Panajachel. I'm sure many of you have already heard, but we have had devastating amounts of rain that has led to mudslides, flooding, and the destruction of many homes. All roads in or out of Pana have been closed, all schools have been closed, and electricity comes and goes. Panajachel set up an emergency shelter in the town's gymnasium, and we visited each day to pass out warm clothes, diapers for children, and adult diapers. Only two members of our elderly care program, brothers Miguel and Manuel, were brought to the shelter. Unfortunately, their home began to take in water, so extended family members brought them to the shelter. When we visited them we were somewhat concerned because they were completely alone, and they need help with feedings and diaper changes. But we called their neice and made sure that they were properly cared for. We're happy to report that yesterday Miguel and Manuel were able to leave the shelter and go to a dry home. We will continue to check up on them, but it appears that they are in a safe, dry place.
The brothers leaving the shelter

While we are not able to go to San Jorge because the roads are closed, we have been able to be in contact with those who run our Elderly Care Program there. We're so relieved to know that almost all of our elderly are doing well after the storm. However, there is one woman in particular, Alejandra, whose home has been compromised and it is not safe for living. The home has let in water and everything is damp and muddy. Furthermore, there is a great risk that the home may collapse. However, Alejandra and her family have no place to go, so they continue to live in this home, which is not safe for them. We want to help relocate them or build a secure wall near their home to prevent collapse, but we cannot get to San Jorge right now. Hopefully we can assess the damage soon and help this family live in a more secure home.

We will update the blog with more details as we get them, but we just wanted to let everyone know that most of our elderly are doing okay despite the storms. Of course, with so much rain and the news reports saying the rain will continue for 2 more days straight, many of our elderly will be affected by the cold temperatures. Because homes in Guatemala tend to trap humidity, many homes will be very damp and cold.

Thank you for caring for our elderly and please email us at familyaid@mayanfamilies.org if you have any questions.

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