Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Elderly and Orphan Care in San Jorge La Laguna.

Hi, there has been so much happening....I am not sure that I have really announced that we are starting this project next week.
With so much unemployment, the elderly are really suffering and we have decided that there is a very big need amongst the elderly in San Jorge.  We have 60 people who want to come to this program but we have limited to start with 25 Elderly and 14 orphaned children.
These children are not completely orphaned....but it is how they are described in Guatemala....when a mother dies, they are called orphaned .....and quite often that is how it seems.
We have 14 children who have either lost their mother, have no one to make food for them during the day and quite often not at night either.  There is no one to wash their clothes, make sure that they do not have lice in their hair and that they wash their hair, brush their teeth etc.
So we have rented a two room house in San Jorge for $120 US per month.  It has an enclosed patio and we will be opening , hopefully, this coming Monday....we have chosen a recently widowed mother with 6 children who is desperate for a job to be  the cook.    She is also a person who seems to have a lot of compassion for others and that is one of the main requirements that we have.
This woman went to school till 9th grade and can read /write and speak Spanish.

The importance of this new project was brought home to us when over the Christmas period, two of our little students, Carmensita and her brother, Tigre....well that is his nickname ....were thrown out into the street by their drunken father.  You may remember that Carmensita and Tigre lost their mother last year.
We had been helping keep the family together with food and they had recently received beds for the children....thank you Bonnie.
But there is not much we can do with a father who is an abusive when he is drunk.  When he was sober he was very concerned with the children.
We spent days trying to find out where the children went because nobody in the family had them and did not know where they were.
We could not get an answer from the father because he was still drunk and he was beligerent.
We eventually tracked the story of where the children were. It appears that an elder brother came from the city and picked the children up  and took them back to the city with him.  We are trying to contact him so that he knows we will continue to sponsor the children to go to school. I know it will be difficult for him to be able to send them to school.  We are also going to try and remove the beds from the father and give them to the brother so that the children have somewhere to sleep...but we have to wait till he sobers up.
We feel that with this center for the children and the elderly that we will be able to keep a closer eye on the needs of the "orphaned" children and make life a little easier for them.
Thanks for all the support that makes projects like this possible.

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