(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.|