MF staff have been up to their necks in work, so one thing I thought I'd help out with is profiling the ancianos, which frankly is always a treat. It's worth mentioning that the entire ECP is hardly scraping by with enough money to provide the ancianos with their daily meals-- The medical supplies and services that we used to provide to the elderly, to everyone's chagrin, have all but stopped due to lack of funds. We even had to let go of our medical coordinator, Dona Helen, because we couldn't pay her salary. It has been very hard telling the elderly that we can't give them their medicines or take them to the doctor.
But that's not what I wanted to focus on. I'm here to introduce you to the beloved ancianos in our program who do not have the medicine or medical attention to deal with serious illness and debilitating pain. I know that sounds intimidating, but $10 goes an incredibly long way in a place like Guatemala.
|Ramon talking with Elisia of Mayan Families.|
This is the main doorstep he sits at in
Panajachel, earning up to $1.10 daily.
Ramon is (well, according to his account--but not everyone really keeps track) 92 years old. He lives in Santa Catarina and, despite the leg pain that forced him into retirement from agriculture work, he walks miles and miles every day to Panajachel and back in order to beg for money--about 8-9 quetzales ($1.10) daily--to feed and care for his bedridden wife, Rosa. Rosa is 87 years old. Ramon told us that he and Rosa have been married for 80 years, and while the numbers are a little suspect, it has clearly been (or at least seems to have been) a very long time.
Together Ramos and Rosa have four daughters, all married, and four grandchildren, all residing in Santa Catarina. The family is close and visits at least weekly, but unfortunately they can hardly help out the grandparents. Only one of the sons-in-law has a (more or less) stable job, extracting and selling sand from the lake, but that is a very low-paying job. They daughters earn what they can with odd jobs, but it's not even enough for the kids. Once in a while the family brings Ramon and Rosa breakfast, but he still needs to go beg.
|Ramon (right) hungrily enjoying with his friend Ramos (left)|
the lunch provided to him by the Mayan Families. Ramon
packs up a lot of the ECP food and brings it to his
bedridden wife in Santa Catarina.
We believe that Ramon urgently needs medical attention. A doctor's visit and the proper heart and pain medicine would make a huge difference for his and Rosa's security and comfort. An initial consultation would cost just $10, and we estimate that medicine for the first two months would cost just $30. Please consider helping.
To make a contribution, click here and enter "A-9 Anciano Ramon Lopez Cumes" in the Other section. If we get the funds to pay for Ramon's medical consultation, we will of course keep you posted. Thank you so much for your time, and please stay tuned for more profiles.