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

May 21, 2013

Petrona Pablo

(A-88) Status: Not Sponsored
Needs: Medical attention at $120, meal sponsorship, caretaker
To help: www.mayanfamilies.org/donatenow "A-88 [write needs, sponsorship etc.]"
To sponsor her for meals at $35 a month, visit: http://mayanfamilies.org/DonateMonthly.aspx
UPDATE May 24, 2013: Petrona received one month of food!
UPDATE May 27, 2013: Petrona's medicines and appointments cost $115 US. If you can help her with this huge cost, it will be so helpful!
UPDATE June 17, 2013: Petrona received a mattress, help with gas for her stove and $115 for her medical needs! 
UPDATE August 13, 2013: Petrona received a water filter and table for the filter as well as sponsorship for two months of food! Thank you so much!
UPDATE September 12, 2013: Petrona has a problem with nerves in her neck which cause her pain. We are looking for $120 US for her doctors appointments and injections to help with her neck.

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

We knock on Petrona's door loudly and call her name several times before she comes to the door, opens it, then falls into my arms weeping. "The pain, the pain!" Her muscles are so cramped that even walking to the door is too much.  "I can't leave, I'm so afraid of falling."

She's the only one home; her kids-- one son drinks, the other works early and late, the other leaves food once in a while but "comes tired from work, she can't care for me. They are all so far from me--" do not have the means to help their aging mother.

She used to walk to the Mayan Families office to receive her meals, but for the last month and a half, her muscle cramps have been so bad that she cannot get out of bed. She has lost a lot of weight, and cannot cook for herself. She has had no gas for her stove for over a week, and has no water filter, so drinks the dirty water from the tap even without boiling it. Her bed does not offer much comfort, as a thin piece of sponge sits over the wooden boards.

Until recently, she also washed dishes for $0.60 US a day "when there were people."

Yesterday, she tried to walk from her home to Mayan Families to eat, since she didn't want to be at home anymore by herself. She didn't make it-- she had trouble walking the few short blocks, got very dizzy, and had to be taken to a clinic.

She was given an injection to calm her nerves and tendons, whose tension was causing the painful cramps. She was prescribed pills for pain and tension. She had another follow-up appointment today and will again tomorrow to see what kind of medicines they can give long-term. Each consult costs her $10, and with the medicines she has already incurred almost $80. She does not have the money to cover these costs. If you can help Petrona with medical costs, sponsorship or any of the needs stated above, please visit the links under the photo.

Thank you so much for your support!

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