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.
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