The last support day for the elderly generation in Guatemala this year has taken place in preparation for Christmas. A time when it will mean that much more to the families to see some extra support and food staples in their homes.
Here project Director Dom Williams shares some thoughts from the field in Guatemala:
"Before Christmas this year, we handed out 5 pounds of sugar, 5 pounds of rice, 4 packs of pasta, 4 pounds of enriched-porridge, soup packets and Maizena to 165 grandmothers of our kids in Itzapa. It was a special time, especially with Christmas just around the corner and these packages should last between 1 and 2 months. What makes this special, and the grandmothers know this, is that it is their grandchildren that earn this for them, by attending school regularly"
Many thanks to everyone who has supported this project and we hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Years.
In Guatemala, every three months the grandparents of school children in the communities of Santa Maria and Itzapa, where we work, are provided with a food parcel in return for their grand-children attending school. This initiative is called Plan Ancianos. The parcels include rice, sugar, mosh (a porridge like food), soups, pasta and maizena plus a fruit tree or medicinal plant which will help when food is sparse. Recently, in Itzapa, 165 grandparents turned up to receive their food parcels and Pacaya trees, the eldest being 98 years old! The parcels were handed out by current GVI volunteers. When one elderly lady came in we naturally asked two of our young, strapping, male volunteers to help her back into a tuk tuk with her food. Unfortunately, they were too slow off the mark and another elderly grandmother was forced to help her into her transport whilst the volunteers sheepishly returned to handing out the food parcels!
This important initiative not only ensures that the often neglected older generation receive the support they need but also brings emphasis onto the importance and benefit of education for children in these Indigenous communities. Thank you to everyone who has supported this project.
We continued our Plan Ancianos (feeding program for the elderly in Guatemala) in April in both of the schools in which we work with much needed supplies for the elder generation. Food is extremely scarce now as the reality of the poor harvests left from Tropical Storm Agatha in 2010 really bites. We added more sugar and soups this time, along with medicinal trees which they can plant, in both projects. Due to continued funding we have been able to increase the numbers of recipients. As more children enter education, their grandparents become part of the scheme.
In both Santa Maria and Itzapa, the communities in which we work in Guatemala we were kept very busy helping families prepare for the New Year. Plan Ancianos, the food and support program for the elderly was first.
As usual we provided this neglected generation with food staples such as sugar, mosh, atol, rice, pastas, beans and soup. This time we have supplemented the packages with Pacaya plants- a fruit plant that will provide older people with vital nutrition once it is ready in four in five years.
We kicked off the event with a piñata which the old ladies loved. We often have piñatas for the children but this was a first for the old folks. It was a absolute hit and brought much laughter and fun to welcome the year ahead.
With food sparse after the bad weather has destroyed almost all of the crops our older people's food plan couldn't have come at a better time in community San Andrés Itzapa. Every three months we hand out the food parcels to the grandparents of the children who regularly attend our school. This quarter we gave out sugar, atol, mosh, oil and four medicinal plants: Pericón and Romero for stomach problems, Maria Luisa for coughs and Salvia Santa for headaches and blocked noses.
These are all typical ailments that the grandparents suffer from. We are hoping to give them 24 medicinal plants in total over the next year that they can use to improve their health and the health of their family - and this was a great start.
Once again thanks to all who have supported the project without your help we would not be able to do any of this.
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