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, 2012

Alejandra Ramos Bocel

(A-39) Status: Not Sponsored
Needs: food, corn, cough & pain medicine
To help, please visit here
For more stories and photos of the ancianos in the Feeding Program, please consider purchasing a book compiled of our participants. All profits go to the Elderly. You can preview the book here

Alejandra's granddaughter speaks for her during the visit, standing in the doorway of their unlit home.
The space contains two beds, a table for making mostacilla--beaded jewelry--and little else. The granddaughter, Juana, guards the shack surrounding a stove and water filter.
My husband is the only one who works in the house, she says. He's a day-laborer, which means there's no guarantee that he'll work everyday. They have four kids, and are caring for another at the moment.
Alejandra sleeps with three of the children in one twin bed. The parents sleep with two more children in the other bed.
Juana says she doesn't want to show us where Alejandra slept before.
The added income she gets from the jewelry is little; she and her husband hardly cover the expenses of their home. But, she says, it's good because I can do it at home. Alejandra has a cough that makes her granddaughter afraid to leave her alone.
They carry water from the community water tank and on the weekends they have to look for firewood.
Her kids are poor, Juana says, and don't support their mother.

Maria Luisa Coroxon

(A-50) Status: Sponsored as of March 6, 2013!
Needs: a new space to live (rent $)
A previous story about Maria Luisa can be found here
To help her, click here. To sponsor her to eat each day for $35 a month, click here.
UPDATE Jan 3 2013: Maria received a chair, and a new bed for the mattress she received last year!
                   Feb 2013: Maria received a new water filter
For more stories and photos of the ancianos in the Feeding Program, please consider purchasing a book compiled of our participants. All profits go to the Elderly. You can preview the book here.  

We follow Maria, who is bent over at a right angle like a periscope above the ground, toward her home where the stove, bed and mattress she were given take up most of the room. 
She cooks and sleeps with only a few feet between the stove and the bed. The walls are black from smoke, though the stove she has is fuel-efficient.
There is only enough space for one person indoors, so she sits in the doorway while the rest of us stand outside. 
She barely hears a word asked of her, even in her native tongue: do you have family? what are your needs? 
And she is shy to reply, as if it is obvious what she has and what she does not.
She looks off, nodding when she feels it might be appropriate to do so, telling stories here and there. 
Her three kids left a long time ago, and don't take care of her at all. Her back hurts from years of sleeping on the ground. Everyday, she carries her water from the community water source up the hill where she lives.
She pays nothing to rent the room without light, a bathroom or space for even a table. 

Juana Par & Rosaria Savin Par

(A-65, A-67) Status: Sponsored as of Dec 7, 2012!
Needs: a home, food, pila, beds, mattresses, chairs, table
UPDATE: Dec 7 2012: they now have a bed and mattress, and are both sponsored for 1 year!
UPDATE: April 23, 2013: Some sad news, as Juana A65 has passed away from complications from pneumonia. 
Previous story about Juana and Rosaria can be found here.
To help, please visit here.
For more stories and photos of the ancianos in the Feeding Program, please consider purchasing a book compiled of our participants. All profits go to the Elderly. You can preview the book here

Rosaria says the door to the other room is closed for a reason; she does not want anyone to know how she sleeps.

The daughter and her mother live alone, as Rosaria never married, and Juana had no more children.

Their house is in the same state as the abandoned silos of midwestern prairie, composed of dirt and rotting walls, where light illuminates the absence of abundance and no more harvests. Where the women live would not be good enough to store grain, but they sleep on this ground without even a petate, a straw mat. They use boards that fell off the side of their home.

There are three rooms, two of which have doors. They are closed by string.

Three child-sized chairs face each other in something like a living room. Some gifted amenities suggest improvements in lives which once had nothing but the walls, falling around them: a water filter, a fuel-efficient stove, some thick blankets.

The house floods when it rains, Rosaria says and puts her hand to her mouth as if unsure whether to smile or cry. Each weekend she and her mother climb the mountain to find firewood, carrying the loads on their back. They carry the water they drink from the community sink. From years of this routine, Juana's feet have grown wide and whorled as tree stumps with roots hooked into the ground. There are no shoes which fit her.

Rosaria, before her bones began to ache, took jobs rinsing onions: she passed the day up to her knees in water, under the sun. She made $3 a week. Now the work is too hard on her body. The women thread bracelets now, earning $1 more than before.

Someone comes to bring the food they receive from the comedor, the Mayan Families' dining room. They wash their plates in a plastic tub, since they have no nearby access to a pila, a large sink essential to Guatemalan life.

They wash and relieve themselves in an outhouse decaying like the ruins tourists come to see.

They live as we would suspect of ghosts, haunting a home unsuitable for the living. When we visit we speak carefully, whispering so as not to disturb them, nor let them know that we are horrified: at our fear of not having or fear of not helping enough.

Maria Coroxon

(A-31) Status: Sponsored as of June 2013!
Needs: food, Onil stove, table,
Previous story about Maria can be found here.
To help, click here. To sponsor Maria for $35 a month, click here.
UPDATE Jan 3, 2013: Maria received a chair and a bed from visiting donors!
For more stories and photos of the ancianos in the Feeding Program, please consider purchasing a book compiled of our participants. All profits go to the Elderly. You can preview the book here.  

Two tree stumps sit in the middle of Maria's one room. One is her chair, the other is a table. Cords of firewood adorn the far wall, as fuel for the open fire she uses to cook.
While the same scene may pertain to a cowboy, at least he has the power to leave the range if he wants to.
Maria cannot leave her home: a year ago wounds began to fester all over her legs. Her family does not want her to walk, for fear the wounds'll worsen and she'll need to visit a doctor, which they can't afford.
Besides this, she would not go. If she sees a doctor she will cry, or scream, she says.
She might be alright if one came to her house, she says. In the meantime she'll move from sitting patiently on her tree stump to the bed a few steps away.
At 96 she cannot see or hear well anymore, and we talk to her first placing hands on her shoulder, then shouting into her ear.
She says she has what she needs, now: a bed with its mattress, a water filter, a concrete floor. The tables she has are busy though, they are already have things on them. One more chair would be nice, she says, then she wouldn't have to use the tree.

Nov 28, 2012

Vincenta Chiyal

(A-34) Status: Sponsored
Needs: food (beans, corn) vitamins, water filter, bed & mattress
Past stories about Vincenta and her late spouse, Juan, can be found here.
To help, click here. Write "A-34 and [needs]" in the Other box.
For more stories and photos of the ancianos in the Feeding Program, please consider purchasing a book compiled of our participants. All profits go to the Elderly. You can preview the book here.  

Update September 20, 2013: Vincenta is now sponsored for daily meals!! Thank You!!

Vincenta had Juan by some years, but her being older, nor their both being poor, didn't stop their marrying.
The couple slept together on a bed of cardboard over bedsprings and under ragged blankets, unfolding love from boxes they found in the street while their backs, over the years, began to bend.
They raised seven boys. When they became men they found women to marry and left the town where Vincenta and Juan had spent all their lives.
They got by on Juan's small salary he earned from working in the fields, spending the days when there was no work in either of the two rooms they shared: one for the bed, the other for prayer. In it was an altar adorned in wooden statues and vases filled with mountain flowers, one chair and some Christian portraits.
There were also stone figures that held cups once used for bloodletting, in ceremonies of rebirth and pleas for corn, but which had become effigies when the belief changed from Mayan gods to Catholic saints; the cups held candles and the figures stood for a new faith. There were bowls of ash from incense on the dirt floor and full bottles of soda for offering.
Saint Maximon, venerated in a painted doll, posed in the center with a cigar in his mouth.
Each evening candles were lit and flowers were brought to the room.
Living poor, the couple got used to their simplicity: they relied on the meals received from Mayan Families, the light they borrowed from neighboring grandchildren, and the kindness of strangers.
They were both used to waking in the mornings with back pain, which lasted till they went to sleep at night.
Then they received the gift of a mattress.
For two weeks they slept on something soft, and then Juan passed away suddenly, finally asleep.
Since his death, Vincenta has slept with her grandkids in a bed apart from the one she shared with her husband. She doesn't see well anymore, doesn't hear well and especially she cannot sleep anymore on the bed without her spouse, with or without a mattress.

Juana Ofelia Xalcut & Istaislda Para Bocel

(A-69, A-58) Status: Juana is now sponsored for the remainder of 2013, as of March 27, 2013!
Needs: food, eggs, corn, full mattress, water filter, pila, toilet, stove repairs, table, chairs
To help: www.mayanfamilies.org/donatenow "A-69, 58 [write needs, sponsorship etc.]"
For more stories and photos of the ancianos in the Feeding Program, please consider purchasing a book compiled of our participants. All profits go to the Elderly. You can preview the book here

The mud walls were built over the dirt by Juana's husband, Istaislda's father, who died 40 years ago.
In this house Juana raised her two daughters alone: Istaislda from the age of five, and Josefina, who left the house when she married.
After this, for years, the two women worked to feed themselves by rinsing onions. They were hired by farmers to pluck the crops from the soil, wash them and later divide them into groups according to size.
They worked from dawn to dusk beneath the sun, standing in tanks of water or the river, wearing folded pieces of fabric on their heads so as not to burn.
They earned $4 a week.
Istaislda is 45 years old and her knees ache like her mother's, it hurts them both to walk; neither works, neither makes it to the comedor to eat. A child brings them the food they receive from Mayan Families.
They share a bed that was donated to them, though only one side has a mattress. Juana sleeps on a sponge.
Before, they'd both slept on the floor.
What they have is in the photo: the bed, the dresser where they stuff their clothes, a plastic stool. They have no table nor chairs, their kitchen is the earth wrapped in tin sheets and jammed with wood they must use to cook over their open fire.
The stove they have has a broken chimney, which they can't afford to fix since they can't afford the tubing.
The kitchen is also where they wash, and where they have made a bathroom.
The water they get is lent by tenants in neighboring houses; the women heat the water to pour over themselves in a corner of the room. They search for private places outside the house to relieve themselves.
The pila, the concrete sink they use to wash their clothes and dishes, is also borrowed.
My sister, says Istaislda, has no concern for us. She got lucky and got married, but doesn't help us out at all.

Kitchen, and corner where the women bathe.

Maria Zamines Saput

(A-48) Status: Not Sponsored
Needs: new house, water filter, full mattress, Onil stove, food
For more stories and photos of the ancianos in the Feeding Program, please consider purchasing a book compiled of our participants. All profits go to the Elderly. You can preview the book here.  

Maria shows us where the rain comes into the house when it's storming. 
During the rainy season the water soaks everything inside, filling her kitchen, drowning her bed.
Because of this she had to get rid of her mattress, and now sleeps on just the boards.
She can't cook when it rains, because it puts out the fire beneath her plancha, a wood-burning griddle.
There is water everywhere, but nothing to drink. She drinks the dirty water from the tap. 
Her belly is distended and her head hurts from probable parasites.
But health, at present, is less a concern than showing us where the walls have rotted in their joints, where the water comes through. 
Her own joints are a little old, and she holds her knees while she walks up the steps made of rocks and dirt, which are also eroding.
They form a canyon around some leaky tubing, where water sprays constantly. 

Nov 23, 2012

Christmas for the Elderly

Christmas passes like any day of the rest of the year for the elderly in Guatemala, where they are often forgotten about or neglected by their families, who cannot afford to make Christmas dinners or give gifts. As you may know, making tamales each year during Christmas is a Guatemalan tradition: many of our elderly do not have the money to make them, and more often spend the holiday alone, without the spouses who have died or their children who have abandoned them.

Please consider giving a Christmas Tamale Basket to an elderly person this year! A Tamale basket costs $40. A small basket of food costs $15. Go to http://www.mayanfamilies.org/HolidayFoodBaskets to find out more, and click on the link to donate. Make sure to specify "Elderly" in the Other box of the donation page. 

Thank you! 

Nov 20, 2012

Matea Alonzo Chumil

(A-80) Status: Not Sponsored
Needs: water filter, a bed & mattress, pila (repairs), doctor's visit
For more stories and photos of the ancianos in the Feeding Program, please consider purchasing a book compiled of our participants. All profits go to the Elderly. You can preview the book here.  

Alberto speaks through his grandmother in the room she has rented since an earthquake destroyed her home. 
This house looks over a dirt courtyard in the middle of the village, where the neighborhood kids play soccer in the afternoon, kicking the ball into the store fronts and church steps. You can see the game and the expanse of lake from the hallway window, which is caged in chicken wire.
Inside the sparse home Alberto is wearing his latest uniform-- a tape measure around his neck-- for one of the many odd jobs he takes.
Right now, he's a tailor. Before, he worked in construction. The money he got went to drinking. 
He was lucky and went to school up till 6th grade, while his wife never went at all. His two older children made it up till high school but there was no money to continue: the eldest works as a day-laborer, his sister washes dishes when she can. 
Alberto's wife, grandmother Matea and six children share two rooms and two beds. The older kids sleep on a woven mat on the cement. 
They heat water on the stove and go outside to bathe. The electric bill of the house exceeds the salaries of the people who live there.
Matea cannot hear or see well anymore, so her grandkids speak straight into her ears while she looks off somewhere, past them. 
She had two children. One died, the other lives in the neighboring town. 
Besides the family, nothing else is hers. 
If she had her own bed, or even her own little house, Alberto says, she might live with less sadness. 

Santos Palaz

(A-68) Status: Not Sponsored
Needs: doctor's visit & follow-up, bed, mattress, water filter replacement cartridges
To help: www.mayanfamilies.org/donatenow "A-68 [need]" e.g. sponsorship, medical, bed.
Past stories about Santos: click here.
For more stories and photos of the ancianos in the Feeding Program, please consider purchasing a book compiled of our participants. All profits go to the Elderly. You can preview the book here.  

It feels like a nail being pounded through his breast, then coursing through his torso to his swollen hips. 
For five years the tumor has been growing and Santos has been losing his sight.
His daughter guides him to a chair in the dark of the room, explaining why she can't take him to the doctor: there has never been any money. 
There is no electricity in the room, and the walls are dank. Two chairs and a small table host a little food and a water filter whose filters have been outdated for over a year. A wooden statue of Christ is embedded in the concrete wall, watching over a dirt floor.  
The house lets in the chickens, but little light as Santos’ daughter shows us where the tumor sits, where there might be a cyst or something else.
The pain used to come and go, now its just constant.
His grandchildren sit in the doorway. Their father left them, his daughter says, pointing to her son.
Her husband had worked as a day-laborer, and earned less than $6 a day.
Now she looks after them alone, and must take the job of guiding her father where he needs to go, since he can no longer see.
She works making jewelry and might earn $2 a week.
She lives in a house with her two kids, apart from the room where her father sleeps on a mat on the dirt.
She uses the community concrete sink to wash their clothes and dishes.
Her sister has three kids of her own, living in similar conditions. Even combined, the families could not provide for Santos’ medical costs.
The food he gets comes from the Elderly Care program, which his grandkid retrieves for him at lunchtime.
It looks like he’s growing a breast, his daughter says. We’re afraid that he won’t be able to walk at all soon if the pain gets any worse.

Nov 19, 2012

Alberta Quieju

(A-49) Status: Not Sponsored
Needs: water filter, pila, table, food
Previous stories about Alberta can be found here.
UPDATE June 21, 2013: Alberta receives blankets and sheets!
To help, click here. To sponsor Alberta for $35 a month, click here.
For more stories and photos of the ancianos in the Feeding Program, please consider purchasing a book compiled of our participants. All profits go to the Elderly. You can preview the book here.  

Alberta lives in her one room with her one son, who drinks away what he earns. 
These days, the only thing important to her is that she eats a tortilla with salt, since when there is no money there is no food.
A hundred bundles of sticks sit outside the house, around two broken concrete sinks: the former which fuel the fire for her stove and the latter which serve no one. 
Two beds take up most of the space in the house.
Two chairs sit there, denuded for lack of a table, surrounding a rooster on the floor that is the earth. 
She plans to kill it to eat it later, which is why it's tied to the chair. 
There's no sink, no shower in the house. There is no light and no running water.
They landlord will let her live within the mud walls and tin roof until she dies. As far as what her son will do then, God knows, she says. 

Nov 16, 2012

III: Paulino

Paulino Buch Xalcut
(A-87) Status: Not Sponsored
Needs: food, pain medication, wheelchair repairs, glass for a window
For more stories and photos of the ancianos in the Feeding Program, please consider purchasing a book compiled of our participants. All profits go to the Elderly. You can preview the book here.  

For 15 years, Paulino's knees have ceased to serve him.
He sits in a wheelchair whose wheels don't turn, next to a window without a pane, where a blanket hangs.
It gets cold there, where the house sits overlooking Lake Atitlan and the crowns of broken buildings.
At 92 he has felt a few earthquakes, has seen a few sad things.
His wife died about the time his knees began to ache.
Of his five children, the three men work in the fields like he did, though one has "fallen" to drinking.
One daughter lives with her father and the others, she says, have no concern for him.
She does not speak much Spanish, did not go to school long.
Some grandchildren live in the same rented compound. Because Paulino can walk a little bit sometimes, he'll turn the corner and pass the time with them, chatting.
He coughs in the night, and cannot feel his knees.

Nov 15, 2012

Felipa & Clemente

II: Felipa & Clemente

Clemente Cun Palax, Felipa Simieon Palax
(A-40, A-41) Staus: Sponsored as of Dec 15, 2012!
Needs: food, corn, mattress, water filter, house
UPDATE Nov 30, 2012: Felipa & Clemente received a large basket of food!
                Dec 7, 2012: They received a mattress and a large basket of food!
                Dec 15, 2012: They are now sponsored for one year!
For more stories and photos of the ancianos in the Feeding Program, please consider purchasing a book compiled of our participants. All profits go to the Elderly. You can preview the book here

Felipa was hanging on, but barely, when she fell off the back of the truck. 
Here the pickup beds are public transportation: crowds of people pile into the back and hang on till their destination.
Sometimes there are so many the last ones on are left to step on the fender, hanging on to a pole.
After Felipa fell, she hobbled home and wrapped the wrist that was broken, then laid down on a straw mat called a petate, which serves as her mattress on her bed of boards.
Her husband is a blind man, and cannot work. They have no children, though Felipa, when she was a midwife, delivered over 1000 others. 
They live in a little room in a compound of other little rooms, where some family of family live.
The extended family members give them water, and maybe a little money if they have it.
They let them borrow the stove to cook and the pila, a large concrete sink, to wash.
They also let them borrow electricity: one lightbulb hangs from a wire above them.
There are no supports to keep the roof from becoming a floor. Felipa said that when the earthquake hit two weeks ago she was afraid the walls would fall on her.
Both she and Clemente are afraid for the next storm, for the breeze that will destroy everything.
When Clemente went blind, Felipa had once worked to support the both of them. But there are two things, she says: right now there are no pregnant women here, and even if there were they wouldn’t come to me.
Girls nowadays go to the hospital to see a doctor about their babies.
Felipa does not go to a doctor about her wrist or her fall, as there is no money. She’d been given enough from a neighbor to see a huesero, a healer who massages bones back into place.
It is a little better than before, she says. However, now that neither she nor her husband can work, she worries: she cannot buy maize, corn, the staple of a million Guatemalan dishes. She begins to cry. How will we get our food? How will we buy our corn?
The food they do get comes from the neighbor kids who bring it from the Feeding Program. Since the accident it has been the only guarantee that they will eat.
Estamos un poco mal, Clemente says, we’re not doing so well. 

A link to some photographs of Felipa & Clemente and their housing situation can be found here.
A brief story about the bedridden elderly in Guatemala can be found here

If you would like to help Felipa and Clemente with any of their many needs, please go to www.mayanfamilies.org/donatenow and write A-40, 41 plus the amount and what you are donating for. A list of prices can be found on this page. If you would like to sponsor Felipa and Clemente to continue eating with us each day, please consider sponsoring them at $35 each per month. We are in desperate need of sponsorship for the many Elderly who do not have enough to eat each day. 

I: Juana Coroxon Ramos

(A-44) Status: Not Sponsored
Needs: food, medicine, mattress, water filter, table, chairs
UPDATE Dec 11, 2012: Juana needs medical care
For more stories and photos of the ancianos in the Feeding Program, please consider purchasing a book compiled of our participants. All profits go to the Elderly. You can preview the book here.  

Juana begins to cry. Her spouse, to whom she’s been married 55 years, is away trying to find work as a day-laborer, the work he’s done all his life. 

It is the work of a younger man. She had done it too. She says there were no buses, no trucks then. They walked for days to coffee farms that needed to be harvested. During a portion of the year they walked to the coast—a distance of 100-150 km, depending, as the crow flies—to work seasonally in the fields. They never went to school.

She was used to carrying heavy loads on her back or head.  Juana's toenails curl like snails embedded in her feet, which look wooden for how hard and dusty they are. Her arm does not leave from where it covers her face as she tells us how the light hurts to look at, and she does not move, since that hurts too.

Her daughter, who sits behind us on another bed, stays home to care for her mother. She talks through her like a ventriloquist, telling us of her mother’s pain: she hurts here and here, she explains as Juana combs her side.

The daughter is one of three remaining children. Three others had died as kids. Because their parents could not pay for a doctor, she says, they tried to cure sicknesses with herbs or other remedies. Sometimes it worked.

We can’t leave her alone, repeats the daughter. They have very little: the two mattressless beds, collections of photographs of family hanging on mud walls—light and air intruding where the ceiling doesn’t meet them—and a kitchen separated by tin sheets. 

The daughter is quick to dismiss the kitchen as being hers, as if the rubble of tortillas on the stove and its tenants of flies belong to no one. A bathroom exists somewhere, shared by others in the compound. There is no table, no chairs, no water filter. A large bowl of milled maize sits on the floor uncovered.

To help Juana and her daughter with these needs, please go to www.mayanfamilies.org/donatenow

A prison of the body and the bed

To be old in this place is to have lost your last means of independence: the body which is able to work.

There are many whose bodies have aged past a limit barely withstood by the young and able in a country whose conditions do not allow any but the fittest to survive.

They often cannot even walk the short distance to the comedor, the dining room where we host lunch. Neighbor kids bring them the food. The majority, made silent by the walls by which they're kept, moan similar complaints when we visit: of their aching bones, of their aching body, of the eyes that do not see and the feet which do not walk. 

It seems they lie forgotten on their beds, which often host petates, straw mats, in place of mattresses. Their children try their best, but often they must choose between providing for their parents or their kids, since they themselves are poor.

The next three stories will feature some of the bedridden, who are much in need of basic provisions: food, mattresses, shoes, a water filter, a window-- and most urgently, sponsorship to eat each day. Read the stories; if you would like to make a donation of any of the items, please go to www.mayanfamilies.org/donatenow, and write the A- # and the item you would like to donate in the Other box. Prices for item donations can be found on this page.

If you would like to sponsor an elderly person to eat each day in our Feeding program, which provides a basic and nutritious lunch to those unable to do much, even cook, for themselves-- you can write the A- # of someone you know you would like to sponsor (biographies on the right side of the page). We will happily introduce you to more of our unsponsored program participants in the upcoming weeks. 

Thank you for your support! Further questions can be directed to familyaid@mayanfamilies.org. 

Nov 12, 2012

Update: Gregoria Xalut Perez

(A-57) Gregoria is now sponsored to be part of our Elderly Feeding Care Program! Thank you to Project Spark, who is here volunteering with us this week, Gregoria will be able to eat each day. She was so happy to meet her sponsors today, who visited her house and shared a meal with her at the Program. We'll continue to provide updates on Gregoria's situation. 

A link to Gregoria's story can be found here.

If you would like to sponsor an Elderly person to eat once a day for a month, check out the biographies on the sidebar. Then go to www.mayanfamilies.org/donatenow to begin a subscription. You may also make a one-time donation or donate to the General Program Fund. Just write a note in the "Other" box on the donation page. 

Thank you, gracias and mat'iosh to Project Spark from Gregoria, and all of us at Mayan Families!

Nov 9, 2012

Teresa Palax

(A-78) Status: Not Sponsored
Needs: a bed and mattress, blankets, water filter, Onil stove, pila, table

Teresa works, cooks and sleeps in the same room, on a dirt floor with a tin roof.
She spends all day threading bracelets: for a bunch she gets $4.
Her bathroom is a hole in the dirt.
There is no water to drink, no water to wash. She goes to the community pila, a concrete basin, to
wash her dishes and clothes.
To have something to drink she'll carry dirty water in large jugs, far from her house.
Seven months ago she dislocated her shoulder, and now she feels pressure everywhere: her head, the sockets of her eyes, her stomach, her arms.
The doctor didn't cure her, she says, she has to go back.
She feels her bones swelling through her skin.

Update: Rosa Guit Ramos

Rosa is now sponsored to be part of our Elderly Feeding Program! She will be able to receive food each day, thank you to a generous donor. This comes as a huge relief for her and her family. We will continue to update you on what is happening with Rosa in the future. A link to Rosa's story can be found here.

If you would like to sponsor an Elderly person to eat once a day for a month, check out the biographies on the sidebar. Then go to www.mayanfamilies.org/donatenow to begin a subscription.

A link to a story about the situation faced by elderly Guatemalan indigenous can be found here.

(A-32) Status: Sponsored!

Nov 7, 2012

Medical Needs for Ancianos

We are still seeking donations, especially monthly sponsorship, for our Elderly Care program. For most, the meal they get with Mayan Families is the only meal they get per day. Please consider sponsoring an elderly person to eat at least once a day, five days a week. A monthly sponsorship costs $35. 

Even by their own families, the elderly are ignored, thought to have lived out their need to be cared for. Their sons and daughters are often so poor they must choose between feeding their parents or feeding their children. Please help us to provide this small but necessary contribution to their lives.

There are several more who need more than just one meal, of course, and if you would like to make a one-time donation or consider sponsoring an elderly person's medical costs, please review the extra needs below. Remember that these costs are in addition to the cost of their lunch per month, at $35.

A-2 Tereso Ajcojon needs vitamins monthly, at $13.

A-10 Maria Lucas needs a monthly supply of Ensure, at $32.

A-70 Dolores Leja needs medicine and milk each month, which cost $78.

A-85 Casimiro Leja needs a monthly supply of Ensure, at $32.

A-75 Santiago Bocel needs medicine and Ensure at $104.35 a month.

A-79 Adrian Motta needs Ensure at $32 a month.

A-82 Fidelia Pinzon needs medicine and diapers at $62 a month.

A-88 Petrona Pablo needs medicine at $10 a month.

and A-84 Felipa Xingo needs medicine at $4 a month.

Go to www.mayanfamilies.org/donatenow and write "Elderly Care Sponsorship" or list the number and need (for example A-91, vitamins $13) in the Other box. For any questions you may have, or for more information on a particular Anciano, please email familyaid@mayanfamilies.org.

Thank you so much for your help! A link to more information can be found here.