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 15, 2012

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. 

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