- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.fBBcEurs.dpuf Casa de Sion: January 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I promised I would write more about the kids from the orphanage and where some of them are. Juliana, one of the Mayan teenagers, went to court and was able to be returned to her aunt and uncles home. Pedro met with her on Monday before we flew home on Tues. and she was able to give him the following info.
1] she told him our orphanage was much better than the government one she was in. She had lost about 30 pounds, so we assume she had less to eat. There were 8 girls to a room and many fights. Most of the girls were drug users and prostitutes. She said Brenda cried everyday and swore she was going to run away the day Juliana left. These girls were at Casa Alianza in Mixco. Also there from our orphanage are Alicia, Selena, Josue, Gerardo, Rudy and Byron. We know this one closed last week and all staff were fired, so I have no idea where these kids are now. Juliana said the babies up to 4 years were all brought here at the beginning and then moved, so no one knows where they are now.
2] At the government orphanage in Zacapa there is Maria, Juan, Monica and Aura, as well as Jose Julian, Wendy, Alex, Ludwin and Romon
3] At the government orphanage in Xela are Manuel, Rosa, Rolando, Carlos, Anna, Diego and Abram.
4] Fernanado is home with her grandparents.

While we were there it was annnouced that the National Hospitals were closing because they could not afford to pay the doctors. These are the only medical care for the poor including most of the Mayans. Also the government orphanages were closoing. The Pensa Libre[ national newspaper ] had front page news that the schools were opening late with a deficit; there was not enough money for the desks and books. There was a two page article about all the families who could not afford any rent and were now living on the streets and under bridges. Food prices were 4 to 5 times higher than when we lived there in May.

Pedro is meeting today with the comite [ the community council ] and the parents for the school we are doing the feeding program for. They are excited their children are being given this chance. He had to pay $50.00 to the private school we sent Juliana to last year before they would send her papers to her new school. Wonder if Fernanda is even going to school this year since we have not heard form her family.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What happened to the orphanage kids in Guate was so discouraging that I have not written on the blog in several months. However after much work and attorney money things seem to be turning around.
My husband and I just returned from a trip to Guate to assess our past and future programs down there. I will try and go over some of what we learned now and will fill everyone in on the rest as the week progresses. Suffice it to say we are back in business.
First we learned two of the " charges" against were 1]we allowed the volunteers to use the kids for sex. You volunteers know how horrendous and maddening that charge was. The other one was 2]we did not feed them meat with every meal. No evidence was be found to formally charge us and the charges were dropped after $10,000.00 was spent on an attorney. We think the reason the lady attorney who filed the charges hated us was we took Mayan children. They are very discriminated against as are the organizations who help them. We know where almost all the children are. They are either back with family or in one of 3 government orphanages. Some of them have run from the government orphanages as they are really bad places to be. While we were there the government orphanages closed and the staff was fired because there was no more money. The attoney told us things could change really quick and we could be reopened anyday. The woman attorney who gave us so much trouble has asked to move to another area as she is hated by the Mayans and feels threatened. I will tell everyone where each kids is or was last Thurs in the next email. Many have asked about Luis so I will tell you know that he and Anna, Diego and Abram and Manual and Rosa and Carlos and Rolando are at the gov orphanage in Xela. The courts call Pedro 3 or 4 times a week asking if we are reopened as they have tons of children they need to send him. The economy of the country is in horrible shape and I will go over that next email also.
Our building at Los Robles [ Godinez ] is almost complete. Everything is done except the water. We need $5000.00 more to get the water into the house and buy the toilets, sinks and showers.
The building looks great and all the donations including all the wonderful tables and shelving systems that Evelyn's group built are all stacked in there. Pedro and Jose will start organizing everything on Monday. Pedro is ever faithful. He put up a tent in one of the rooms and has been spending his time there working with Jose on digging the septic and dealing with the courts.
Briefly here are the new programs we are starting:
1] a feeding program at the school next door. everyday after school at 12 the 70 elementary kids will come to casa de Sion and have a soup and tortilla lunch. then grades 4, 5 and 6 will stay for tutorials for 3 hours. We start feeding kids on Feb 15th and really need the water in by then; otherwise we will buy a toilet and haul water.
2] a welfare program for the community. Jose told me that his sil had a baby 15 days ago. She had no breast milk and no money for formula and the baby died. I told him not to ever let that happen again. To come to us and we will help. 50% of the people in the community live in one room homes with dirt floors, no bathroom, no water and no electric. jose came to us the day we left with a woman whose husband beat her and kicked her out with the 4 kids under 10. he has 4 other common law wives. we are providing housing and food.
3] scholarships. I am sure many of you met Anselmo. his mom Juana was my maid for 3 years. Anselmo has 7 children. The two oldest are Claudia and Alex [ 8th and 9th grade ] They will be the first in the family to graduate . They want to be teachers. Anselmo and his mom and wife have no education. Anselmo can not afford to send them this year. It will cost $750.00 a piece for the year to send the two of them. That includes pickup transportation. Jose can not afford to send his kids to 1st grade because of costs. That will run about $100 for the year.

Well I will write more in a couple of days. lets just say we are back in business. We have volunteers starting to come in feb. and will have boy and girl bunkbed volunteer room.

Here are things we need
$$$ for the water system and to start a new building and for scholarships for kids. No amount is too small
school supplies and bookbags and educational toys, formula, children's shoes and alway clothes in good condition. can be shipped to my home.

Jody and I took 4 suitcases of your donations down when we went and my son hauled 15 buckets full to go down by container

We can't do this without you.