Saturday, February 12, 2011

Damaris in Guatemala

Hi Everyone,

Here is another desperate family situation.

Damaris Velazquez and her husband, Elmer, have 5 children, aged 15, 9, 7, 6, and 4 months. Two, Damaris Shiomara, 9, and Anlli (pronounced Angie), 6, have scholarships through Mayan Families. The oldest, Gerardo, did not have a scholarship, and was forced to drop out of school last year in order to help support the family. He now works at a roadside stand, selling french fries and fried chicken. His father, Elmer works as a tuk-tuk (small 3 wheeled taxi) driver, which means that his income is very unsteady, and depends on how many passengers he carries per day. Each passenger pays just Q5, or about 65 cents.

Despite the fact that she must care for 4 month old Elmer Josue, Damaris also works as much as she can, washing clothing or cleaning for anyone who will hire her, for about $4 per day. Unfortunately, since so many women look for the same type of jobs to make ends meet, she rarely finds work.

Though Damaris, Elmer, and Gerardo work as hard as they can, they don't earn enough to pay for the basic needs of the family, and they have been extra strained since the birth of Elmer Josue four months ago. He was very sick as a newborn, and spent a week in the hospital. Since then, they have fallen behind on their rent, and they currently owe three months worth of rent--$192--and they will be evicted at the end of the month if they are still unable to pay.

Their electricity is cut off at night, because they owe three months of electric bills as well, totaling approximately $50.

To read more about their family or to help them, please visit:


Thank you for any help you can give them.


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