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 14, 2013

Santiago Bocel

(A-75) Status: Not Sponsored
Needs: Meal sponsorship, food, disposable diapers, wheelchair or walker, water filter, sheets, blankets, closet, roof repairs, Ensure or other fortified supplement
To help: www.mayanfamilies.org/donatenow "A-75 [write needs, sponsorship etc.]"
To sponsor him for meals at $35 a month, visit: http://mayanfamilies.org/DonateMonthly.aspx
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 are like children now," Santiago's granddaughter says over and over as she explains how she cares for her grandfather. "It's been about a year since he fell, since the doctor told him that he'd die soon and that it'd be better to leave him in bed. He can't walk now, obviously, and his feet have some kind of infection-- swollen, parched feet-- ah, mira, see how he suffers. He can't do anything for himself. I come back from washing clothes all day-- he doesn't eat unless I'm around, to leave the dish on the bed for him-- I come back and have to change the diaper, change the bedding. They are like children now."

Santiago's wife also lives in the tiny house with his granddaughter and her four children, but "they don't get along." She sells a little in the market during the week, but complains that her husband never had a cent to give her a good life, never gave her anything. "She's a bit capricious, always giving her heart to strangers," said the granddaughter. "More than anything we want to make sure he's comfortable, if he's going to die. We'd taken him to the hospital, but since they said they can't do anything for him, what else can we do?" Even though her husband works as a security guard, a relatively good job, "even his income can't cover it all for us." Her grandfather needs medicines, "for pain, gastritis, a lung infection, and vitamins for strength."

"I had to leave my full-time job so I could care for my grandfather and the kids both. I look at my own family and hope we have it better than they did. I look at them both and think to myself, "what did they do to get like this? How can it be different for me?"

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