Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cristina and her 4 children

Cristina is 35 yrs old. She has four children.
They are,
 Merlyn Morelia...she is 12 yrs old this year. She is in 4th grade.
Lesly Fabiola 8yrs old. She is in 1st grade this year.
Wiliam Mauricio is 7yrs old. He is in kindergarten.
Evelyn Liliana is 4 yrs old. She is going to the Mayan Families .
They are renting the house they live in . It is made of tin sheeting and the floor is dirt.
The family has very little food.  The mother, Cristina sells "atol" on the street. It is a drink made from corn. She also goes to the forest and collects firewood to sell. With the little money that she earns , she uses it to buy food for her children. Often they have only tortillas with salt.
These conditions are not so unusual, unfortunately , many Guatemalans live like this but what makes it very bad for Cristina is that her husband is very physically abusive.
Her husband works but he doesn't give her any money to support the family.
He appears to have a girlfriend that he spends his money on.
Cristina was brought to our attention when her husband threw her out of the house with great force, she hit her head on a rock. Her head was split open. The children were screaming when they saw the blood flowing from their mother's head.
The eldest daughter, Merlyn tried to defend her mother and was also beaten . When she came to us, her face was bruised on one side from her father hitting her.
The neighbors came to the Cristina's rescue...they were afraid that the husband would kill her.
She was taken to the hospital and the children went to stay with their grandmother.
We interviewed her at her mother's house.
She said that she would like to leave her husband but she has no where to go. Her mother has given her a small piece of land but she has no money to build on it . She says that she would go and live on the land if she had only some sheets of tin.
She hopes that one day she will be able to have enough money to be able to build on this land and leave her husband.  The eldest daughter is very traumatized. Whenever she hears anyone fighting or screaming she begins to tremble.
Cristina says that since she married her husband, 13 yrs ago, her life has been terrible. One of physical abuse and hunger. When they were first married he beat her. Her mother came to her defense and her husband beath the mother in law and hit her with a machete, cutting her on the shoulder. She had to be hospitalized.  6 years ago the mother once again intervened when the husband was beating her daughter, he threw her out of the house, hitting her and she had to be hospitalized once again.
 Her husband has threatened to kill her if she leaves but if she can build  a house on her land, it will be next to her mother and her brothers and she would feel safe.
Cristina is hoping that we can help her with food, with school sponsorship for her children.
A house would be a dream come true for Cristina and her children.

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