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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.

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