Monday, November 30, 2009

Meeting with the Tierra Linda group.

Today we had a meeting with many of the parents of sponsored students. We explained the situation that we do not know if all the students will be sponsored for the coming year.
We also told them that, sadly, we do not have many donations for the Christmas/ Holiday Tamale Baskets and that we will not be able to give them to all the sponsored students.

We also talked to them about the construction in Tierra Linda. How everyone is working very hard to be able to bring a junior high school to the village.

On a happier note, we discussed the Christmas/Holiday party that will be held in Tierra Linda on December 16th. We will be having the graduation party first thing in the morning for the students who are graduating from the pre-school and in January will be starting in primary classes. After that we will be having the Christmas party for the children of Tierra Linda.
Every child under 10yrs old will receive a gift.
Santa Claus will be coming and so will the clown. If you are in town, please come along and make it a very happy day!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Families receiving help with food.

Roberto is 17yrs old. He is the only breadwinner in a family of five. His father died 8 yrs ago and Roberto had to leave school to start work and support the family. His mother has always been able to work, either washing clothes or making tortillas but she lost her job and has not found another one.

The family has not had enough to eat and Roberto's sponsor very kindly has sent them some extra food to help them get over this period.

Roberto came to work at Mayan Families several years ago and we enrolled him back in school. He worked after school and on the week ends.

He has just graduated from 6th grade and wants to continue studying but is unable to do it full time. His family needs him to work to be able to support the younger children plus he also has an elder sister who is a single mother with a very young baby and it is very hard for her to work.

So we are arranging that Roberto can work full time but he will be able to continue his studies on the week ends.

This family recently lost the mother in a tragic homicide. Ingrid and Sindy are sponsored by Mayan Families to go to school. The father sells ice creams from a cart. Without the money that the mother was bringing also selling ice creams on the street, it is very difficult for the father to be able to have enough to support Ingrid, Sindy and their siblings.
Fortunately, they received this wonderful gift of food and this is really helping them.

If you would like to help a family in need with food, we would be glad to assign you a family, or send you their details. This does not have to be an ongoing committment. Food is such an urgent need right now that any help is greatly appreciated.
Posted by Picasa

Update on Crime and Violence in Solola posting.

Here is the news story about the ugly murder and violence in Solola on Friday.
There was also a young man, 23yrs old sitting next to the bus driver. He was sitting there because the bus was overcrowded and there was nowhere else for him to sit. He was also shot and killed. Last night our daughter, Zoe attended the viewing , called a Valoria, this is where the coffin lies in the middle of the room on a table, candles and flowers adorning around the table. Family and friends visit, coffee and sweet bread is served. The family stays awake all night, if the viewing is at night, the funeral is held within 24 hours.

Zoe said there were enormous crowds for this young man. They filled the house and were outside in the street. He will be buried today.

What a terribly sad event this whole thing was. The bus driver killed, this young man killed, the three assailants died terrible deaths and endured, I am sure, many hours of sheer terror before dying. The police station is destroyed, the governors office is destroyed and two or three police cars are destroyed.

But the people of Solola have sent a very strong message to the extortionists. Lets hope they will stay away.

How Guatemala's Most Beautiful Lake Turned Ugly

Please go to the link below to read the story.
How Guatemala's Most Beautiful Lake Turned Ugly

Unfortunately, at a time already hit by the economic downturn, the food crisis caused by rising prices making it very difficult for people to afford enough food, this extra disaster is affecting so many people.
The fisherman, the tuk tuk drivers, the restaurants and the people who work in them, many hotels have been laying off workers. Work is very difficult to find here now for many people. This kind of desperation brings about terrible situations.
We have more and more people asking for help with food every day.
Please remember that we are distributing baskets of food for Christmas/ Holidays. These baskets have the ingredients to make Tamales for the traditional Christmas meal and other basic ingredients which will help people have something to eat. These baskets feed a family of 10 people. The baskets cost $35 US and we are in great need of having as many as we can for this upcoming Holiday season.

If you would like to donate a basket in Honor of a special person, we will send them an email advising of this wonderful gift with a photo of the family who will receive their gift...we will also make note on our website in the IN HONOR section that a gift has been made in their name.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Sewing class in San Jorge.

Some of the women from the San Jorge sewing class proudly showing the patchwork quilts that they have made.

The women make two quilts during their 6 month classes. One is for them to take home and the other is to be given to Mayan Families. We sell these blankets for $20 US and all the funds go back to the sewing program to be able to help continue the classes.

These blankets are made of donated fabric. We are very grateful to the people who have helped us by carrying down sewing machines to donate to the program, fabrics for the women to use, all sorts of wonderful accessories, scissors, tapes, buttons, thread etc. All of it is very much appreciated.

These women are so proud of themselves. At the end of the course, they will receive a framed diploma. Most of these women have never been to school, they do not know how to read or write . Finishing a course and receiving a diploma is a very special occasion for them.

Posted by Picasa

Diego, shoe shine boy.

Diego is a young boy who comes from a village at least an hour away from Panajachel by public transport.

Diego doesn't go to school.

He works shining shoes to help his family.

Today we brought him to Mayan Families and gave him shoes, shirt and a jacket.
He was hungry and we also gave him lunch.

Thanks to the clothes and shoes we received in the recent Medrano donations we were able to help Diego.

Posted by Picasa

Dashly gets her milk.

Dashly is the youngest child in the family, she has an older sister. Her mother is a single mother without any family support. She only gets sporadic work.
Dashly has been in the Milk Program all year and she is now doing very well.

We have more babies and children that need milk than we have the funds available.
If you would like to help a child have formula or milk, please donate to our Milk Program.

It is $17 US for a large can of milk for a child. This will last the child several weeks.
Posted by Picasa

Crime and Violence in Solola.

Today in Solola a bus driving just below the hospital coming to Solola was robbed.

The driver was shot and killed. The assistant was also shot, was airlifted to the city but he is believed to have also died.

The robber, after shooting the drivers, jumped into a waiting taxi, that apparently had an accomplice. The bus went over the cliff, luckily, it only went a short distance before hitting a tree and coming to a stop. If it had of been a different area, the bus could have gone down a huge cliff and all the people on board could have been killed.

Apparently, the taxi was stopped, the assailants were pulled out of the taxi. The taxi was set on fire.
I am not sure what happened after that but the police managed to get the assailants into the jail. Huge angry crowds gathered, they demanded that the assailants be turned over to the mob.
The police force, which is very small, probably only about 8 police on duty, barricaded themselves in , threw tear gas to break up the mob.
The mob set fire to three police cars and were threatening to set fire to the municipal building unless the men were turned over.

Late this afternoon crowds were still gathering.

The robbing and killing of bus drivers is sadly a common occurence in Guatemala city.
It is the first time I have ever heard of it happening here in this usually peaceful area of Guatemala.
I hope it is the last time.
To see more photos and a video, please go to this link.

Posted by Picasa

Baby Valentina

Baby Valentina is one of twin girls, who is in our feeding program. Today the aunt brought Valentina to us, her sister is very ill in the hospital and the mother is staying with her.
We soon realized that Valentina who is 4 months old, was also sick, she had a fever and was crying.
We sent her to the clinic for medical care, gave her a bottle of formula immediately and told the aunt to make sure that she let us know how she is doing.

Valentina's family and extended family is very poor. They barely have enough food. There is no way that they could possibly afford to buy formula.

We are so grateful to the Herrod Foundation that has given us this grant.
Posted by Picasa

Baby bottles and formula.

These two women, family members of a young woman who has given birth to her first baby....came to our house on Thanksgiving morning. The baby had been born with a cleft palate and hare lip and the young mother was very scared . They didn't have any bottles, formula and they couldn't afford to buy any.

Thanks to the Medrano shipment that we have just unpacked we were able to give them baby bottles. We also gave them formula from our baby feeding program.

Traditionally in Guatemala, women stay at home for 15 days after they give birth.
So we told the family members to tell the young mother to bring the baby after the two week period and we will put the baby on the list to be operated eventually.

Thank you for sending bottles, brushes....these things are so useful.
Posted by Picasa

Personal care gifts from Medrano.

We received wonderful personal care items in the Medrano shipments......these two students, Ingrid and Sindy who recently lost their mother, were so happy to receive toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, brushes, shampoo, hair ties and a mirror. They took home toothbrushes for the other siblings.

The family was here receiving food. They are dealing with trying to get their lives together since the tragedy.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Food being distributed to people in need.

These are just some of the people who have received help with much needed food. Thank you to everyone who donated to help provide food for families here who are suffering with the food crisis. We will be uploading the rest of the photos onto a web album and will post the link here.

Lack of food is a terrible situation that many families are going through. We have people asking for food daily. We are hoping to provide Tamale baskets for as many people as possible this Christmas/Holiday season. If you can help with a donation of $35 to buy a basket of food, it will feed a family of ten. If you can help with any donation , any size, the families that receive your help will be so grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Picasa

Three sisters.

Three sisters from Tierra Linda received the most wonderful gifts from their sponsor for Christmas.
As you can see the smiles on these faces say it all!
Thank you to the sponsors who were able to send presents. These gifts do not stop the grinding poverty that the children live with but they do bring a lot of joy.....and everyone needs a little joy in their lives!

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Don Alejandro Saminez

Don Alejandro receives a mattress, blanket , pillow and a supply of food .
He is in his 80's and his wife passed away earlier this year.
Don Alejandro comes from a very poor family. The only support he has now is his daughter who lost her eyesight this year. She had cataracts but was not able to afford medical care.

They are both now supported by the grand daughter who is a single mother, she has a young teenage son. The grand daughter sells fruit on the street . She makes very little money and it is not enough to feed them all.

Don Alejandro fell over at the cemetary while visiting his wife's grave on Day of the Dead.
He badly injured his leg and has been unable to get out of bed much these past few weeks.
The bed, which was just bare boards was very uncomfortable for such extended periods of time.

He was very lucky to receive these wonderful donations from a very kind person.

Posted by Picasa