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 28, 2012

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.

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