Apr 1, 2020

Sandra's Story

In Guatemala the malnutrition rate of children under 5 is 49.8%. However, chronic malnutrition is not exclusive to children under the age of 5. In February 2020 Casa Jackson opened its doors to a new patient who was unlike any patient we had had before. This is Sandra’s story and we feel it is important to share it with you to show how you can help Casa Jackson change the lives of malnourished children.


Sandra was referred to us by the PGN (Guatemalan Social Services). She is 18 years old, though due to years of chronic malnutrition she has the frame of a much younger child. Sandra’s father passed away when she was younger and her mother suffered from alcoholism and was unable to look after her, and so a month before she arrived at Casa Jackson, she was given to a family that the mother knew to be looked after. This is not what transpired, however. The family that Sandra stayed with consisted of a mother, father and three children. Sandra was not treated like another member of the family, though. During meal times Sandra was told to leave the room and the family did not share any food with her. Sandra told us that she was not given any food for a month and that every time she asked to be given some she was beaten. She was also beaten at other times for no reason. Sandra was also not permitted to leave the house and therefore had no means to access food herself. She told us that she survived on water alone.


When Sandra arrived at Casa Jackson we had to adjust to be able to care for her. The first thing we needed to do was find a bed for her to sleep in as we didn’t feel that it was dignified to ask her to sleep in a crib like the other children. We reached out to another non-profit called El Amor de Patricia that runs a Bunk Bed Project to ask if they would donate a bed for Sandra to sleep in while staying at Casa Jackson. They were more than happy to oblige and delivered it the next day. This was an important part of showing Sandra that we valued her as a person by making sure she would be comfortable.


Sandra has spent the past month with us in Casa Jackson and in that time has gained an incredible 8 lbs. and 4 oz. She has been on a special diet to help build her strength and it has been working extremely well. Sandra told us that when she was staying with the previous family she would dream about eating frijoles and chicken and so we make efforts to incorporate that in her diet.


Another important part of Sandra’s recuperation is to build her self-esteem and show her that she is valued as a person, as this was something she did not experience before coming to us. Sandra never went to school when she was younger and is unable to read or write. We organised adult learning classes three times a week to help Sandra to learn important life skills such as reading and writing. Unfortunately, due to government regulations all schools are currently closed in Guatemala, however we are helping Sandra to keep learning through workbooks until the schools open again. Sandra has told us that even after she leaves Casa Jackson she would like to continue to study so that one day she can become a teacher. We will ensure that we do everything we can to turn this dream into a reality. Furthermore we have been teaching Sandra important skills that she can use in the future. Sandra worked with some volunteers to learn how to sew. She is using her newfound sewing skills to make a bag. Finally we think it is important for Sandra’s self-esteem that she helps out the other children in Casa Jackson and so she often looks after and plays with the children during the day, as well as helping to feed them. This gives her a sense of belonging and responsibility that is helping to raise her confidence and self-worth, a crucial part of her recuperation.


We feel that Sandra has made amazing progress in her first month at Casa Jackson and that is because we receive donations to be able to feed, clothe, house and educate her. When we say that your donations save lives this is not hyperbole. We couldn’t make an impact in children’s and, in this case, adult’s lives without your support. You make it possible for us to save Sandra’s life.


Please continue to keep the children in your prayers and consider sponsoring a crib at our Casa Jackson Malnutrition Hospital.


Feb 24, 2020

The view of a happy future

Juanito was born five years ago. When his mom was in labor the family called the ambulance but never came, so she gave birth at home. After that, they were took to the National Hospital and they had to stay there for two weeks due to some complications he had while delivery.


After being at the hospital for a long time, they finally were able to go home; but his mom realized that something was wrong with Juanito’s eyes. Concerned about that, she decided to take him to see a doctor and after different studies, the worst news were told to her… Juanito had a cancerous tumor! Unfurtunately the tumor was in the back side of his eyes; and for this reason he had to be hospitalized again and had a surgery to take the tumor out from his eyes to prevent him to loose the vision in both of his eyes.


To have the tumor taken out, one of his eyes was removed, the tumor had grown so fast that the eye were it was located was totally useful and was pushing the eye out from the eyeball. The surgery was so expensive, that the family had to sell everything they had to start giving him the chemotherapies that Juanito needed to improve his health. Currently, Juanito is still fighting against the loss of sight of the one eye he still has working well.


Asociación Nuestros Ahijados de Guatemala, is supporting Juanito with education, food and health care, currently he is doing good in school, developing new skills that he didn’t have. He needs an eye surgery to rescue his sight and prevents blindness being very young.


He is a very active and social kid and seems to be vey healthy and deal with his problem. The difficulty in school is his low sight, when he grows up he wants to be an “eye doctor” to help others with the same prblems that he has now. The family is very thankful with all the support received from Asociación Nuestros Ahijados.

Feb 20, 2020

Mommy in Danger

María José was born in a small, poor town in Chiquimula (on the eastern coast of Guatemala). Her father died in a terrible accident, leaving her fatherless at the age of 12 years old. Two years later, Maria’s mother died of womb cancer after which she was forced to live under her grandmother’s care. Without her grandmother, there is a greater than normal chance that Maria could have been picked up in the streets and sold into human trafficking. Despite these hardships, she eventually moved to Guatemala City where she could realize her desire to work and study.

It was in Guatemala City that Maria met the father of her child. She was able to find work, but the income was very low and hardly enough to support a baby. Eventually, the father was kidnapped and murdered, leaving Maria once again desperate and alone without knowing what to do. She needed to feed her child and didn’t have any money to do so; besides that, she was feeling fearful in that big city after the horror that fell upon the father of her child.

Maria decided to move again and chase a fresh start to a new life, this time to a smaller city. She landed a job in a restaurant and worked there for several years without any problems. She felt that for the first time her life was changing for the better and that she was going to be able to give her child a better future.

That is until one night, while she was working late, Maria was alone in the restaurant when a man came in, pretending to be a client. When she turned away to prepare his order, the man suddenly knocked Maria on her back and attacked her. She was subsequently raped, suffering not only physical harm but left to deal with the haunting psychological effects too. As a result, Maria got pregnant again, making her life more difficult to deal with now that a second child was on the way with no means to provide adequate care.

After being treated at the National Hospital, the Office of Violence Against Women referred her to a place to receive psychological treatment as well as education, that place being Asociación Nuestros Ahijados. When cases like Maria’s are brought to our attention, we act as quickly as possible. For Maria, we were able to provide legal support, psychological aid, and food and education for her older child. We rescued Maria from the risks she and her children faced everyday living in that area by providing a safe place to live and protecting both of her children from poverty, an unhealthy environment, and the risk of being sold into slavery.

Currently, Maria José is involved with our programs, receiving all the support she can from Asociación Nuestros Ahijados of Guatemala.




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