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

Dec 5, 2012

Eulalio Palax Xalcut

(A-89) Status: Not Sponsored
Needs: food, kitchen, electricity
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.  

They built the new house right next to the old one, where in front of both a concrete corridor separates the structures from a long drop of forest. 
The action of the trail leading to the houses goes straight up along switchbacks and rocks that would not stand uncertain steps, as in their holds they are also crumbling. 
Eulalio is 84 and rheumatic and avoids leaving the house if he can, since it seems likely he would not make it back up the cliff. 
He occupies the weaker house on the side of the sturdy one, built for the daughter by those who sponsor her to go to school. It has one room. Now, between she and her father, there are two. They painted the tin sheets and rotted wood of the old house to match the concrete exterior of the new one, so that, maybe in melon, the homes of high-life would not seem unequal. 
In the trees of the garden Eulalio tends he's hung barbie dolls, CDs, tin cans, bottles, jewelry and other toys that neither chime nor glitter in the sun. While their purpose is dubious, they are a distraction from what was to what is now: the man and his daughter used to live alone together in the derelict house where the sign of a storm sent Maria Christina seeking refuge at her half-brother's. 
During the rainy season storms pass daily, washing out the route of the trail to the house.Their home and their way to it wrecked rather than welcomed them.
But you don't notice the way things were: you notice the ornaments and flowers and the colors of the doors and the walls.
Two geese and a caged parakeet interrupt our conversation, centered on the state of the kitchen: the walls are wrapped in tarps and wire, precarious as the old house was, where it seems a breeze will blow it over. 
In her concrete room Maria Christina does not worry about earthquakes, rain and landslides. She makes the money for herself and her father, working in the preschool. She brings him lunch from the Program everyday so he won't have to climb the rocks.
Her mother, who was the much younger, second wife of Eulalio, had gotten sick and died; all the children from the first marriage scattered.
They cannot support their father; none studied in school because they were poor. All five have families now: one has 9 children, another 8, the others 5, 6 and 7 of their own.

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