Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Family Tragedy

This family suffered a terrible tragedy this week. 
Today the mother and 6 children buried their father, Lucio. 38 years old.
The father, who was a builders assistant was riding home on his very small motor bike.
 He had an accident, came off his bike, hit his head.
As is the custom here, he was not wearing a helmet.  In reality, he probably could not afford to buy one.
He did not regain consciousness and passed away in the hospital in the city.
The family is devastated.
The mother, Victoria, 35 years old has 6 children.
The eldest is Sofia Elisabet..who is 14 years old.  She finished 6th grade last year but this year she started working to help the family with their needs.
Raquel Elisa is 12 years old and in 4th grade.
Reina Lucero is 10 years old.  She is a special needs child.  She went to school for one year but it was too difficult to be able to keep her in the school.
Tomy Israel is 8 years old.  He is in 2nd grade .
Elsa Paola is 6 years old.  She is kindergarten.
Debora is 4 years old. She is not in school this year but will be going next year if it can be managed.
The mother sells a traditional Guatemalan food called is cornmeal wrapped around a piece of meat or chicken and cooked in leaves from the corn stalks.
All of the children except the smallest one gets up at to make chuchitos and then go to the main square at , each of them on a different corner selling chuchitos.....the ones who are still going to school , run back home at , pick up their backpacks and get to school by  They leave the chuchitos that they have not sold with the older sister who stays there till all the food is sold.

This family has never had much money. The father did not have steady work. He had a small motor bike so that he could get to different job locations.  He used to work in the river digging out sand.  At his funeral today, many of the men who work digging out sand, took the time off to go to his funeral.

The mother, Victoria is now in debt for the coffin that they took on credit.  She  has a week to pay for the coffin or else she will start accruing interest to the funeral parlor. This will be a terrible hardship for her.
The cost of the funeral and transferring the father's body from the city was $313 US. 
Lucio's father has passed away and Lucio's mother works in the fields and earns $3 US per day so there is no help for Victoria from her husband's family.
Victoria's family comes from across the lake and work cutting coffee.  They are a very poor family and this is not coffee cutting season so they have no money to help Victoria with the funeral expenses or the children.

Lucio owned the piece of land that they live on and it will now pass to the wife and children but in situations like this is easy with interest growing daily for the family to lose their piece of land and their house.

These children are accustomed to working hard...even the 6 year old and the 10 year old special needs girl, Reina go out to sell every morning.

Yesterday morning , on the day their father died, they were still out selling on the street corners.

We are hoping that we can get help for the family to pay for the funeral expenses so that they will not be in debt.
We also hoping that the children can get sponsored to be able to attend school for the rest of the year and for the coming years ahead.
This family also needs help with food.

If anyone can help, even with a little, it would be so very much appreciated.

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