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

Nov 29, 2011

Thank you so much!

Many of the members of our Elderly Care Program have received water filters and food this month, all thanks to many generous donors. Clean water and nutritious food are essential for our elderly. Many of them suffer from multiple health problems as they age, so they are not usually strong enough to fight illnesses caused by malnutrition or drinking dirty water. Your donations have helped our elderly to stay healthy and strong. Thank you so, so much for your care and generosity!

 To donate to our Elderly Care Program and give an elderly person a warm, homemade lunch every day,  please go to Donate Now and scroll down.  Enter your donation in the "Other $" box.  In the "Details" box, write "Elderly Care Program". Thank you so much on behalf of the many elderly who are helped by your generosity!

Nov 25, 2011

Sad News

A dear member of our elderly care program, Lucia, passed away today. She had been ill for a while, unable to eat very much and extremely weak. Her condition worsened and we are very sad to report she passed away.

We are asking for help in raising $182 to help her family pay for the funeral costs, which include a traditional ceremony for family and friends and a meal hosted by the family.
If you would like to make a one-time donation, please go to Donate Now, and scroll down.  Enter your donation in the "Other $" box.  In the "Details" box, write "A16 Family Aid". Thank you so much!

Nov 17, 2011

Great News!

Adrian with his new bed (his correct number is A-79)
Thank you so much to everyone who donated for a bed for Adrian! We are so happy to report that we received enough donations and Adrian now has his new, wooden bed and a mattress! This will make a huge difference in his life as he is able to sleep comfortably and he knows that there are people around the world who care for him! Thank you so much to everyone!

Read Adrian's story here.

Nov 16, 2011

Santiago needs urgent help!

Santiago is a dear member of our Elderly Care Program. In September, he started becoming ill and we were worried about him. We sent him to a doctor where he was examined and given medication for an ulcer, severe inflammation, and stomach and leg pain. However, the doctor wanted Santiago to return the next morning at 7:00am for a blood test. The challenge is that Santiago lives quite far away and he can't walk. There is also a long path to his house that is very narrow and rocky, impossible to drive. Therefore, we had to have our staff carry Santiago down the mountanous terrain to the car. And then we would drive him to the hospital, which was still far away.

The doctor kept wanting Santiago to return for more exams and check-ups, but we really struggled finding enough staff to carry him and drive him so frequently. We tried to brainstorm some other options, including using firemen to carry him. Eventually, the family tired from the process and Santiago started to get better so they decided it would be best for Santiago to just recover at home and not return to the doctor anymore. The family said that they would contact us if he got worse.

We just found out that Santiago has been in the hospital in Solola for a week, due to pain and inflammation again. This morning the doctors told the family that they want to send Santiago to the hospital in the capital because his situation is deteriorating. We're still not 100% sure what is wrong with Santiago, but the doctors in Solola are confident that they can't do anything more to help him.

The cost of taking Santiago to the capital, admitting him to the hospital, and running several exams is $75. Hopefully we can soon discover what is wrong with Santiago and treat him in the capital, where they have more equipment and doctors. Any amount that you could give to help Santiago, would be greatly appreciated. We would like to send him to the capital as soon as possible, so please spread the word about Santiago's urgent need. Thank you so much!

Please go to Donate Now, and scroll down.  Enter your donation in the "Other $" box.  In the "Details" box, write "A75 Medical".

Questions? Email us at familyaid@mayanfamilies.org

Nov 14, 2011

World Diabetes Day

Today is World's Dibetes Day. In honor of this day and in an effort to edcuate the local population, we held our monthly Diabetes Club today. Sixty-two people came to the club. The meeting began at 8:30 and we gave free blood exams, physical exams, and each person received a one-on-one consultation with a doctor and nutritionist. Medical staff led three discussions about neuropathy, diet, and exercise. At the end of the club, we handed out pamphlets explaining how to control your diabetes and the right foods to eat, and then we gave everyone a healhty lunch. People came from all over the lake-region, some came from far away, even across the lake.

When measuring blood sugar levels, we were shocked with what we saw. Keep in mind that a normal measurement is 100 and below. However, in our club today we had 21 people with measurements above 200, and 3 people had measurements above 400! We gave them shots of insulin right away, knowing that they were in great danger with such high blood sugar levels. This shows how dangerous diabetes is among Guatemalans and how desperate our Club is needed to help educate people.

Diabetes is a serious illness that effects many people all over the world. The poverty and lack of education that is so prevalent in Guatemala often makes diabetes invisible and deadly. Please consider making a donation to our Diabetes Club so we can continue our efforts in educating people and helping individuals live with diabetes in a healthy way.

Please go to Donate Now, and scroll down.  Enter your donation in the "Other $" box.  In the "Details" box, write "Diabetes Club". Thank you so much!

Nov 10, 2011

Medical Help needed for our Elderly!

Besides providing a nutritious meal each day for our Elderly in Panajachel and San Jorge, we want to support them with Health Care as well. Many of them suffer from constant pain and need milk and diapers to have a little more comfort in this stage of their lives.

To sponsor an Elderly with medical care means so much for them an their families. It is a way to reduce the suffering and pain of these people who have already suffered a lot.
Mrs Florencia A-05

Mrs. Lucia A16
At the moment we have 6 Elderly in our Panajachel program that are in great need of a sponsor:

Mrs. Florencia Bocel (A-05) is 92 years old and she needs medicine and diapers. It would cost $100 per month to provide her with that.

Mrs. Lucia (A-16) is 86 years old and she needs pain killers, diapers, and a fortified milk beverage every day. It costs $100 to sponsor her for a month.

Mrs. Isabel (A-27) is 80 years old and she is extremely thin and weak. She needs fortified milk and a protein powder called Incaparina in order to feel a little bit stronger. It would cost $117 to provide her with that for 1 month.
Mrs. Isabel A27

Mrs. Josefa A-18
Mrs. Josefa (A-18) she needs on-going treatment and diapers. It costs $100 per month to sponsor her.
Mr. Santiago A-75

Mr. Santiago (A-75) is extremely weak and the daily meal he gets is not enough to keep his body functioning well. He needs fortified milk, Incaparina, and diapers. It costs $100 to sponsor him.
Mrs. Maximiliana A-26

Ms. Maximiliana (A-26) suffers from diabetes and she needs to have her medicine on a constant basis. It costs $50 per month to provide her with her medicine.

We understand that many of our Elderly need donations and it is difficult to choose who to help, but any amount that you can give will be of great help for these sweet members of our community. It is hard to get to an advanced age and not have enough to eat or to be forced to live with an aching body constantly. Many of our Elderly have lived long, difficult lives, and we want to make their lives as comfortable as possible now, and we need your help!

If you would like to help one of the Elderly in our program, please go to Donate Now, and enter your donation in the "Other" box.  In the "Details" box, write the number of the Elderly you want to help (A - XX).

Or you can donate monthly to ensure that one gets their monthly needs. Go to Donate Monthly and enter your donation in the "Other Program" box. Under "Description" write "A and the number of the elderly you want to help" and write how much you'd like to donate per month.

If you have questions, feel free to send an email to familyaid@mayanfamilies.org

Thank you!!!

Nov 7, 2011

UPDATE: Pedro is doing better

We want to thank all of you who have generously given to Pedro and helped him during this difficult time. You can read the last blog about his health here. Thanks to your donations, we were able to take Pedro to a private doctor and run several exams. The exams showed that Pedro has high blood pressure, that he is malnourished, and that he has amoebas. The doctor prescribed three different medications which we were able to buy with your donations and Pedro has been taking them regularly. We also have enough money to pay for Pedro to receive 3 meals a day for one month. Thank you so much!

We visited Pedro this morning to make sure he is feeling better and to remind him that he has another doctor appointment on Thursday. Thanks to your generous care, Pedro is eating better and feeling better! We hope that the worst is behind him and that he will continue to improve. Thank you so much!

Nov 4, 2011

Adrian is sleeping on a piece of wood

Mr. Adrian is the newest elderly in our Elderly Care Program. He is 86 years old and lives in a family compound with his daughter, granddaughter, and their families.

His daughter and granddaughter are his sole caregivers, but they both struggle to support their own families. They are really anxious and worried that they cannot take care of Adrian as well as they would like to.

Since Tuesday this week, when his family came to the office to ask for help, Adrian is receiving one nutritious meal per day through the Mayan Families Feeding Program. The family is so relieved that he is eating well at least once a day, because he had been losing a lot of weight and getting sick due to malnutrition.

We went to visit Adrian's house and it was very upsetting to see that he is sleeping on a piece of wood (a door, actually) that the family borrowed from a neighbor. Furthermore, it is more upsetting to know that as bad as it seems to be sleeping on a piece of wood, Adrian is just glad he isn't sleeping on the floor.

If you can help Adrian be more comfortable by giving him a bed with a mattress, please go to  Donate Now and scroll down.  Enter $170 in the "Other $" box.  In the "Details" box, write "A79 Bed and Mattress". If you want to help Adrian with food or medicine, enter your donation in the "Other $" box and write A79 in the "Details" box. Any amount will help Adrian tremendously! Thank you so much!