Monday, October 24, 2011

Family living dangerously close to the river

Although the rains have finally subsided, the river remains a threatening presence in Panajachel. As much of the river banks were washed away, many families now find themselves living dangerously close to quick currents. The water is still very dirty and washes in a lot of garbage and debris, making nearby homes unsanitary and nearly impossible to keep clean. We visited a family last week who live in a very poorly built home that is now very close to the river. As you can see in the picture on the left, the "wall" (i.e. sheet of aluminum) of their home is only feet away from the quick currents of the river.

This is a very dangerous and unsanitary place to live. But if it is the only home you can afford, then you have very few options of leaving. That is where this precious family finds themselves. Dominga, basically a single mother because her husband spends most of his time with another woman, is desperately trying to care for her five children and her ill mother. Somehow, their home has not collapsed during the storms, but it is in very bad shape and poses many threats to this family. Paralyzed by poverty the family cannot afford to move anywhere else.

To make matters even more difficult Nirma, only 11 years old, has a terrible infection of blisters and lesions on her scalp. As a result, they have cut her hair very short and are trying to treat her with a special shampoo, which is helping, but very slowly.

This is just one of many heart-breaking stories of impoverished families trying to survive after severe storms and floods. Our doors are open for these families as they come to us desperate for food and other aid. We are so grateful for your support through these past several days as we have tried to help this family and so many others. Any donations that you could send right now will go to families like this one, and it will make a huge difference in their every day lives. Thank you for all you have done and given! And thank you for partnering with us as we serve these precious families!

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