Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cristina and her elderly father, Eulalio, live alone.  Her father works on a farm, but being 82 years old, there are many days he doesn’t feel strong enough to work.  They live on the side of a very steep mountain in San Jorge in a dilapidated house.  This family has many needs.  Since neither can provide regular income, they need a sponsor for food.  The house is perilous and needs a retaining wall to provide protection from mudslides and the walls need to be built with cement block.  They need to have electricity connected as it is very dangerous to walk around in the dark in such a steep yard.  The father, who has rheumatoid arthritis, does not have a mattress to sleep on.  There are more needs, many more, but these are the most urgent. 

The Children
Maria Cristina, 18, was born January 1, 1994.  Her student number is 5 and she will be in 7th grade in 2012.

Their Family
Cristina’s mother was the second (and much younger) wife of Eulalio, but when Cristina was 7 her mother became very sick and died.  Since then Cristina has been responsible for the home, preparing meals and also for caring for her elderly, and at time ailing, father.  Cristina has five half-siblings but they are all married now and do not help Cristina or her father with any of their needs.  The relatives from Eulalio’s first wife does not accept Cristina as a part of the family.
Cristina’s father is 82 years old and works on a farm although he can’t work every day because he isn’t strong enough anymore.  He has rheumatism that was diagnosed by the doctor, but he hasn’t been back for any follow up care and he can’t afford the medication prescribed to him.  His legs are often in pain.  He has a bed but no mattress. 
Cristina just graduated from elementary school and is planning to continue her education to middle school.  She is very shy and quiet, looking down at the ground for most of the interview.  She started the interview in Spanish but prefers to talk in Kakchiquel, her native Mayan dialect so another translator was fetched.

Their House
Cristina and Eulalio live in a dilapidated house on the side of a steep mountain in San Jorge.  Their house is made of lamina, both the roof and the walls.  When it starts to rain she goes to her brother’s house and stays there until the rain stops and she is sure her house is safe again.  They don’t have electricity or running water.  She walks down to the public washing area in the center of town when she needs to wash clothes.  She has a water filter but no pila (a large cement sink).  The kitchen is apart from the rest of the house and she cooks over an open fire.  She was given a bed and mattress by her school sponsor and blankets by another donor.

When asked what her greatest needs are she said traditional clothes.  She was wearing her only nice outfit to the interview she said, and while there were no visible holes, it was far from new.  She said everything else she owned was very old and too worn to wear.  Cristina received a gift of a new traditional outfit in January 2012.  She said she also needed help with her additional school expenses.  Often she can’t afford the materials she needs for a project and that is reflected in the grades she receives.  They often don’t have enough money to eat every day and many days they can eat only tortillas. 

Their Needs

$100/mo      Food donation

Build a retaining wall to protect house from mudslides
Rebuild the house with cement block
$150          Traditional clothes Thank You! January 2012
$44             Mattress for father (need to confirm size)
Connect electricity
Connect water
$118           Pila
$170           Onil stove

How to Donate
  • To use PayPal, click the button below to go to Mayan Families' donation page. Enter the donation amount in the Family Aid field. Enter Cristina #5 for the Family Name. Specify the purpose of the donation in the Extra Notes box. 

  • To pay by check, include a note specifying Cristina #5 as the recipient and the purpose of the donation. Mail to:
Mayan Families
PO Box 52
Claremont, NC 28610