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 1, 2012

Support the Diabetes Club at Mayan Families

In Guatemala, diabetes has become a major issue in recent years as processed foods, infrequent exercise, and generally poor economic and social conditions contribute to its increasing prevalence. In addition, limited access to medical care or even knowledge about symptoms to look for accounts for many undiagnosed cases of the disease.

Gone untreated, diabetes can lead to diabetic neuropathy-- serious nerve damage that results in numbness and infection. In extreme cases, the consequence may be the amputation of a limb. Foregoing treatment may also lead to blindness, heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease, which in turn can cause an ugly death.

Many victims in Guatemala are unaware that they have it. Those who are aware often cannot afford treatment. The Diabetes Club supports 35 participants once a month at Mayan Families, offering counseling and minimal education on foods and drinks that would help them to control their illness. Participants recieve a check-up, a snack, educational talks and much-needed companionship with those suffering the same illness.

Without the money to buy healthy foods, many rely on starchy, sugary foods to sustain them: tortillas, potatoes, or bread. Having little financial means to control their diet adds insult to injury, as suffering the effects of back-breaking work or standing all day in smoke-filled kitchens worsens their symptoms. The Diabetes Club cannot afford to provide insulin to our participants, nor other basic medical necessities a patient may need, such as a glucometer or oral hypoglycemics.

Eventually, Mayan Families would like to provide patients with the access to the care they deserve, and the education necessary to help them control their diabetes, specifically in the extreme living conditions particular to the highlands of Guatemala. For now, our participants benefit from the community and care offered by the Diabetes Club.

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