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 13, 2012

Maria Angeles Cojtin

(A-93) Status: Maria is now sponsored for one year! Thank you!
Needs: food, water filter, double mattress,
UPDATE Dec 21, 2012: Maria received the gift of a blanket!
To help Maria with these needs, please click here. To sponsor her at $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.  

Maria doesn't say a word during our visit, but lets her daughter speak for her, while four kids run circles around them.

"She suffers all kinds of sickness: infection, gastritis, headaches, problems with her nerves. This August she'd had two operations on her eyes, so that's why she wears the glasses, even indoors.

We got a loan to pay the debt, while my husband's working doing day labor to repay it. I make bracelets. I have to dip the needle into each tiny bead. I'm afraid my eyes will go bad too because of that.

When I was 8 my father died. There were seven of us kids. So because my mother had to take care of all of us, we couldn't go to school. There just wasn't any money, no real opportunity to go, like that. When I turned 13 I went to work in a jewelry factory, and that's where I learned to make these bracelets. After a while I went to work in a hotel in Panajachel. That's where I learned Spanish-- the owner of the hotel gave me the opportunity to learn, and so I learned.

Now I'm the only one who's here, caring for Mom. It's difficult, since I have my own kids and she's sick a lot. I don't know where we'd be if she couldn't eat with the Program everyday. We don't have money to buy clean water, so we drink the tap even though it's bad. Sometimes there's no food.  Sometimes my mother can't get out of bed."

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