Saturday, August 29, 2009

Another abandoned puppy.

This little puppy, probably around 2 months old was found down by the river. She has an old machete wound going from the top of her head all along her back. Someone slashed her with a machete. A machete is a large knife that men use for a variety of reasons, usually chopping firewood, work around the house. Unfortuantely, it is not uncommon for us to find dogs with machete wounds.

This poor little girl was starving and thirsty, she also has a problem with an infection in her fur.

We will be having our monthly spay and neuter clinics today. We will probably have around 30 - 35 dogs/ cats to spay and neuter.

One of the reasons we are so dedicated to doing these clinics is to limit the number of animals that are left to wander the streets suffering, abused, injured, starving and terrified.

If you are an animal lover, please consider sponsoring a dog or cat to be spayed or neutered. It only costs $20 US and it saves so much future suffering.
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Lillian receives some food.

Thanks to a donation that we received today to help people with food during this very difficult time in Guatemala, we were able to give Lillian some food to take home for her and her baby.

Thank you to the people who have responded to help us with food for people who do not have enough to eat right now.

Every day we are having people come to our door, asking for help with food, often people who have not eaten all day.

Yesterday, sadly we were told about an elderly woman who passed away, she didn't have any family support and she had not had food and had not eaten for a week.

If you would like to help give food to a family in need during this food shortage, please send a donation and we will be more than happy to make sure your donation goes directly to feeding a family.
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Lillian is 16yrs old. Her baby is approx. 14 months old. We first met Lilian when she came to Panajachel. She was pregnant, she was living with a man who was 42yrs old. He had left his wife and brought Lillian to live in Panajachel. Lillian came from a village on the coast. She met this man in her village when he was working there and they fell in love, so she told me.

Lillian is an orphan, she doesn't know who her father is and her mother died when she was 2yrs old. She was brought up by an aunt. We provided Lillian with medical care when she was pregnant and because she was so tiny she needed an cesarian which Mayan Families arranged.

The "husband" worked in Panajachel for a while but when he couldn't make enough money he moved back to the coast about three months ago. He took Lillian to live in a house that he owned on his family's property. It is very remote. Lillian hasn't seen or heard from him in 2 1/2 months nor has he sent her any money to live on.

We have put the baby on our infant feeding program and he is receiving milk. Lillian looks very tired , she has lost a lot of weight. She says that they do not have anything to eat.

Julio and Juan , Mayan Families employees went to visit Lillian and see what the situation is.

They came back very concerned for her safety. She lives alone in a very remote area. The "mother in law " lives quite a distance away in another house. They don't seem to have much to do with Lillian.

The start of a long walk from the was a half hour walk to get to her house.

The views were beautiful but it is not safe for a young girl to be walking alone in such a remote area.

This is the communal washing area and where Lillian has to bring water to her house. There is no water connected and she has to carry the baby and the water jug on her head for at least a fifteen minute walk.

Still walking.......

This is the little mud brick room that Lillian and the baby are living in. It has no running water, no electricity and no bathroom.

Lillian in front of the house, the blue bucket is where she stores her water ....To the left of the picture is the stove she cooks on.

Safe House for Albertina.

Albertina is 8 1/2 months pregnant with twins. She has three other children, all girls, 10yrs, 6yrs and 2yrs old. They are all malnourished.

Albertina is married to a very physically abusive man. He has been threatening to kill her. Just a few weeks ago, he threw her out of a window and she rolled down an embankment.
He has also brought another woman to live at the house and this is causing a huge amount of stress for Albertina.
Her husband is not giving her money to buy food and she has been eating only once a day, usually tortillas with salt. She has been surviving mostly on the charity of her neighbors who have been giving her small amounts of food for her children.

There were very real fears that he would make good his threat to kill her and some neighbors helped her seek legal advice. A woman lawyer who works with a group to help protect women against violence , helped her get a court order to protect her. But she had nowhere to go, she was living at the husband's family home.

Her own parents have a very small house that 12 people live in. They had no room in the house for her. But the father offered a very small piece of land that could be built right up against the house.

We learned about Albertina's predicament on Friday, thanks to our wonderful supporters, by Monday we had enough money to start building a safe house for Albertina and her children.

Her father offered to do a lot of the labor, he even contributed 200 cement blocks that he had been storing in the hopes of being able to build an extension.

Albertina signs the papers that says that his house belongs to her!
Albertina's father signs the papers that says the house being built belongs to Albertina.

House Construction for Albertina.

Albertina watches the construction of her new home. She is 8 1/2 months pregnant with twins and as you can see she certainly doesn't look it. She has been eating just once a day, tortillas with salt.

Albertina with her children and her father.

This is the start of the construction . The rebar, or metal poles are to protect against movement in the building. A good thing in a country with a history of earthquakes.

Construction materials delivered and we begin !.

This is the small piece of land that is really big enough just to build one room. It will be free standing but very, very close , within inches of her parent's home. There are already 12 people living in that house and no room for more. But this cement block room that is being built will be a safe haven for Albertina , her three children and her two new babies that will be born very shortly.
We are hoping that the house will be finished before the babies are born.
Albertina and her three children watching the delivery of the materials. Albertina cannot believe her luck at having a home built for her and being able to move to her parent's home. Several times she expressed her gratitude to the Mayan Families employees, Julio , Juan and Fernando who were delivering the materials.

The materials being unloaded. Everything is done by hand in Guatemala!

Thank you to everyone who has made a safe home possible for this family. It is a real miracle for them.!

An unexpected gift.!

This mother, Ninette, brought her two children with a beautiful gift of a bag made from old textiles.
She said that she wanted to give this gift to express her appreciation for her children being sponsored to go to school and for the fact that her elder son will graduate from Jnr. High School this year.

She is so proud that her son will graduate and have a chance to go onto higher education.

She wanted us to know that without sponsorship that she and her husband could never have afforded to offer their children this opportunity.

Thank you to everyone who is able to sponsor a child, it makes a huge difference in their lives.
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Thursday at Pana Pre-school.

The children at Pana pre-school just love to play with the wonderful toys that have been donated.
Three days a week the children eat beans, eggs and tortillas for breakfast, either boiled eggs, scrambled eggs , fried eggs and with whole beans or refried beans, the tortillas are made at the pre-school, hot and delicious.

Monday morning the children have cornflakes with bananas. Fridays, they have pancakes with honey and fruit.
Twice a week they have smoothies with fruit and milk.
Three times a week they have an oatmeal drink called "mosh"
They have a vitamin tablet and brush their teeth.

They are also learning to color , their numbers , letters, sing songs and this week enjoyed a puppet show.

The local pediatrician has offered to come once a week to check on the children's health and that is very welcome. We have had a lot of children with very bad coughs, two that needed antibiotics .
We have had children that come to the pre-school without enough clothes, one little girl who when she took off her jacket didn't have any t.shirt underneath, she told us that she didn't have any more clothes at home. We sent her home with a new t.shirt and one extra one for her bag.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Merary and her family need help.

Merary is 10 months old.
Her family brought her from a small village in Quiche,, Chocorral.
They knew she was ill but they could not afford to get medical attention for her. They had heard that we may be able to help them.
They arrived with almost no clothing for the baby and fortunately we had a little to give them.

We sent Merary to the doctor. She has bronchitis and is very malnourished as is her mother. The doctor said that the mother doesn't have breast milk because she is so malnourished. We have put Merary in our Milk project and she will now receive formula.

The father is working in Panajachel now because he could not find work in his village. He is working
in the river sifting sand to sell for construction. But if there are no sales, then he doesn't get paid.

They are staying with a friend and he is not charging them for the time but they also cannot stay there for very long. They are trying to get enough money together to be able to rent their own home.

The father's name is Armando , he is 29yrs old.
The mother's name is Marina. She is 19yrs old.

All they have is the small amount of clothing on their backs.

In their village they lived in one room that belonged to Armando's parents. It was a small room made of wood planks , dirt floor and tin roof. They did not have electricity nor water connected. They had one table , three chairs. and a bed. Armando worked as a day laborer but there was very little work, he earned $3 US per day if and when he found work.
They hope that they will be able to find work here in Panajachel but that is also going to be difficult for them.

This family needs sponsorship for food.

If you would like to help them, please send a donation for FA 10. .

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Heydi was having a lot of pain but her family was unable to afford to send her for medical treatment.
Thanks to her sponsor, Heydi was able to receive the treatment she needed. She had a urinary tract infection and an infection in her ovaries.
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Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Happy Family!

This family was very thrilled to receive this wonderful gift of food from their sponsor. Corn is the staple of the diet for Mayan people and the rising cost of corn is making it very difficult for families to have enough to eat.
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Rosaria. update on post of July 30th.

Rosaria is 44yrs old, she has two young children and an adult daughter. She has been having severe stomach pain for a few months now. She lost a lot of weight. Her husband has stopped working to take care of her, putting a huge strain on the family.

Please see original post ..People in need of Urgent Medical Care. July 30th, 2009

The family could not afford medical care for Rosaria. Fortunately, Jennifer Withrow's group, "Families for Guatemala 09" met Rosaria and saw the conditions she was living in. They saw the pain she was in.
As a group they decided to help Rosaria with her medical treatment. Thankfully, several other people have also donated to help with her costs, people who read this blog, sponsors of the children and Mayan Family supporters.

First, we sent Rosaria to have a endescopy and the diagnosis was the dreaded cancer.

Late yesterday afternoon, Rosaria had a five hour operation to remove 85% of her stomach and 20cm of her small intestine.

Rosaria will now be in hospital for five days. She is receiving nutrition through a nasal tube.

She was doing well today and we are hoping with all our heart that Rosaria will continue to do well.

Thank you for the prayers and good thoughts for Rosaria and her family.

Especially , a huge thank you , to everyone who was able to donate, even a little bit to be able to make this treatment possible. Every little amount adds up and we have this wonderful medical treatment for Rosaria.

We will keep you updated about her progress.
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tierra Linda Sewing class.

The women from the Tierra Linda sewing class came to Panajachel to cut the patches for their patchwork blankets.

They spent the day cutting patches and choosing colors for their blankets.

They did it all while carrying babies on their back and having several little children with them.

At the end of the day, they packed up their patches, put them in shawl and carried them on their head. They now had a one hour walk up the mountain path to get home.
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San Jorge pre-school.

Some of the cuties who are hoping to receive sponsorship to attend the San Jorge pre-school.
At the pre-school , the children receive a hearty breakfast, learn to brush their teeth, get a vitamin tablet, have oatmeal drink called mosh and fruit before heading home at midday.

They have a teacher who is helping them get a head start on schooling before they reach primary school. These children do not speak Spanish, they speak the Mayan dialect, Kakchiquel. When they start school, the classes are usually in Spanish. Learning at the pre-school helps them to become familiar with the Spanish language.

If you would like to sponsor one of these children to go to school, please contact us. It is $150 US for one year. We can arrange for monthly payments.

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