- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.fBBcEurs.dpuf Casa de Sion: January 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Malnutrition in Guatemala

Here is an article Jody and I just read from the "Economist" magazine. http://www.economist.com/node/14313735. Please copy and paste and read. It is so true. I saw many children this week with all the signs of malnutrition. First was at our mama/tot group. The 3 month old twins showed up with their parents, 10 year and 2 year old sisters. I brought the family to my house to make sure the mother was mixing the bottles right. She wasn't. The veins were showing on the younger twin and he was nothing but skin and bones. The two girls did not crack a smile or move a muscle. It was hard to even get them to eat the cookie we gave them. I sent the parents home with cans of tuna [ thanks to those of you who sent canned meats for me to bring down ] and formula and newborn packets [ thanks to LDS humanitarian services and Joel who brought them ] . I will take the babies to a clinic being held this next Tues. to have a doc check them out and to weigh them. Also at the program was the woman with the 6 kids whose husband kicked her out for a new woman. [ Lucky woman huh. wonder how long she will last ] The mama at our program was begging for food. Rice, beans, etc. Her baby looked like he had been picked up out of the local dump he was so dirty and his clothes were so ragged. But she had put about 10 rags on him to make sure he was warm. She needs a home. And then there were all the stories I did not hear on Tuesday from the other 65 mamas who were there. Then there was our trip yesterday to Nueva Victoria, but that is another blog. The final baby story this week came in the form of a call last night. There was a newborn in our community whose mother was not keeping him. Another woman was willing to raise him , but she was very poor and had grandchildren of her own who were starving. But she would do the work part if we would help with formula, bottles and clothes. So this morning, I went to visit with two cans of formula [ thanks to Ian and his Eagle Scout project ] and bottles [ thanks to Karen P ] and newborn clothes [ thanks again Karen and Joel. Everything was so needed there. One of the little granddaughters had the blond hair that speaks of malnourishment.
As you can see, I can only do this because you help me. So thanks for all the help you are giving. And read the article so you have two witnesses.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Clinic Pictures

Answer to formula question. We want the powdered kind as the ready to feed weighs too much. thannks

Pictures from the bottom up

The clinic at the Morman church in San Andres
The man with diabetes and lung infection. He is 78 and the custodian at this church
A mother who came for help
A child we helped
Another child we helped

A question was asked of what kind of formula we need. Powdered please as the ready to feed weighs too much.


Five new Mothers added to Our Program

Our mama/tot program in Los Robles is very popular. One of the only places that moms can get formula nd incaparina for their hungry children and a meal for themselves. Last Monday we had 4 new mamas join. Here are their pictures. Yesterday we had two more join. I do not have pictures of them yet. One of them was a mom with 6 children ranging in age from 3 months to 14 years. The infant who was with her was one of the most ragged looking infants I have seen. Her husband kicked her and the 6 children out of the shack they were living in so he could move in a new girlfriend. Her 14 year old son is working to provide the only money coming in. This family needs your help. Can someone please sponsor them? We also need many more sponsors as we now have 69 [ not including these ] mamas and their kids. My husband whoo believes in a budget says no more until we have sponsors. I, who have to look in their hungry eyes, say they can join. Not good for my marriage. Please think about commiting to $20 a month to help one mama and her family. Ask your relatives to help. You will receive a picture and a short bio. Another family that was at the program yesterday Joel wrote about and did a blog on when he was here. They walk for 2 hours to come to the program. They have 3 month old twin boys, the cutest 2 year old girl, a 4 year old, 7, 9, 10, 11 and 14 year olds. The dad was hurt in an accident and can not work long hours doing physical labor. He grows some corn and beans to feed his family. They have no school supplies for the 5 in 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 grade. One of the twins is severely malnourished. I paid their transport for them to come to my house yesterday to go over in detail what they were eating. The tiny one was only getting 3 ounces a day of nourishment. I fed him a 4 oz. bottle and he drank the whole thing. I sent them home with formula, bottles, newborn kits and tuna fish for the older children. They were so grateful. They desperately need a family sponsor. And I need advice from you medical people on what to feed the twins to put weight on them.
Lots of suffering down here and lots of work


Starting from the bottom

1. Our teachers from the city getting ready to party at Los Robles
2. Amy, one of the teachers, falling in love with Ivana, who she now sponsors.
3. Getting ready to hit the pinata
4. The whole Los Robles party group

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Finally a Blog

Well we have been in the country for almost 2 weeks and what a hectic two weeks it has been. Joel has gone back to the states for a while. And gosh we all miss his blogs. We have had some great teams in the last week and a half. American teachers from a fancy school in Guatemala City put a ton of time and love into two Saturdays of parties for over 300 children. They had pinatas and homemade cookies and presents for everyone. The presents were all donated by the parents of the Guate City children. The first Sat. the party was in Los Robles for all the children we serve. The next Sat. it was in Nueva victoria for the children we do a lunch program for. The teachers commented of how much better behaved the Los Robles children were in terms of orderliness and gratitutde. I realized the difference was we have worked the last year to teach the Los Robles children to respect the people who are giving them something and to have an attitude of gratitude. Realizing this we want to start a tutorial program for the Nueva Victoria children to help them understand gratitude and respect.
We had a wonderful team of nurses Monday of last week that saw over 200 people. We almost delivered a baby at that clinic. We did not have alot of medicines but did discover alot of need for medicine. One is an older man with diabetes who can not afford the $25 a month his medicine cost. I bought it this month. Does anyone esle want to buy it next month? We also have a child with many cognitive disabilities who needs $35 a month for seizure meds. Any takers?
Then we had a great team from the St. George, Utah/Las Vegas, Nevada area that provided much service and much needed supplies to several communities and families. They bought two energy efficient stoves for Nahuala, the community we helped in Aug. after they were totally displaced by Hurricane Agatha. If you remember, we set up 8 Shelter box tents in this area. They bought $1000.00 worth of much needed food as the people were basically starving. They bought 30 pairs of school shoes for the community of Chutinimit here in San Andres. They were another community we did Shelter Box tents for. They bought supplies for a very poor family in Los Robles who needed things for their newborn and milk for their 3 year old. And at Los Robles they paid for the typing classes and materials for 11 middle school students we are sponsoring in school which is allowing us to cover the school expenses for a couple of more kids who needed help to continue in their schooling.
On a personal note, we have enrolled our oldest two here in a private school in Pana. Jody and I are homeschooling our youngest 5 with him taking most of the responsibility for it. Two of our boys are great gymnasts and we have never been in a position to give them lessons. We found out yesterday that there is a Olympic gymnast in Panajachel who will teach our two boys. He also is a piano teacher and will teach our two girls.
We have the computer working with a cellular stick but I can not upload pictures with it so I will go tomorrow to a better location for uploading pictures and try and get some pictures of what we are doing.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Eyes of Hunger

As I get ready to return to Guatemala, these are some of the children I will see and relate to. I will actually look in their eyes, not just see them from these pictures. They are real people suffering the real pain of not enough to eat. I need your help to help them. Please look in their eyes and see if they are telling you to help. I know when I see them again, that is what they will say to me.
Below are a couple of news articles on hunger and Guatemala.
To help you can push the donate button or write me at 20.vicki@gmail.com for an address to send a check. 100% goes to these and other children. We still need more sponsors for our mama/tot program. $20 a month for a year feeds and gives supplements to one mama and her infant and toddler children.

2011 to Bring a Hungrier Latin America
David Schreiner
January 7, 2011

Image by tpmartins.
A slew of natural disasters and climbing global food prices in 2010 have experts worried about the threats to food security 2011 could bring to Latin America. Fears of this kind are not new to the region, but one of the worst years for natural disasters in decades has made food security a more immediate concern for the many millions of people across Latin America vulnerable to variations in supplies of basic foods.

In the Western Hemisphere, Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, and Venezuela top the list of countries confronting food scarcity problems. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that over the past 20 years more than one-fifth of both Bolivia’s and Guatemala’s population has suffered from undernourishment. In Haiti, more than half go with less food than they should, and exacerbating this problem are Haitian rice farmers, now leaving crops unharvested in areas thought to be effected by the recent cholera outbreak, despite efforts to educate growers about ensuring a safe harvest.

Meanwhile, the 2010 la niña climactic cycle brought heavy rains to Central America as well as Colombia and Venezuela, destroying crops and damaging agricultural infrastructure. This aggravated the food shortage in Guatemala, and flooding in Colombia and Venezuela created a shortage of rice and some vegetable products. With heavy la niña rains expected to continue into 2011, experts warn that acute food insecurity will increase in 2011, especially in Guatemala.

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) held a seminar in November 2010 on rural poverty and climate change. It concluded that rural populations in tropical regions “are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change on agriculture.” A meeting on rural and agricultural development held in conjunction with the COP 16 in Cancun found that: “There is no climate security without food security and no food security without climate security.” However, a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests that the share of Latin Americans suffering from food insecurity is getting smaller. To continue improving food supplies, the paper argues, international coordination must help the poorest countries increase crop yields. A stronger export sector, argues a similar report, will help prop up food supplies, as could responsible compensatory social policies.

Learn More:


Guatemala Food Security Outlook October 2010 through March 2011
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET)

Date: 30 Dec 2010

Full_Report (pdf* format - 342.8 Kbytes)

Key Messages

• Currently, the poorest households in the country's highlands suffer moderate food insecurity due to the spread of the annual lean season, as well as the consequences of this year's heavy rainy season. Poor households in the rest of the country suffer moderate insecurity, as some still depend on external help to fill their food requirements, after the impact of the heavy rains received during these last months.

• Levels of acute food insecurity in households located in the highlands will be moderate during the last quarter of the year, as they depend on external help to compensate a harvest 30 percent below normal and damages caused by the rainy season. This assistance will not be enough to cover food needs between January and March, so they will suffer high acute food insecurity.

• The poorest households in the east and in the coasts will face moderate food insecurity during the entire period of this outlook. A smaller first harvest in September/October, and with important losses during the second harvest in December, will considerably reduce their stocks. The start of the highest demand season for unskilled labor will improve their income, but they will still be insufficient to fill their food needs. They will depend on external assistance.

• Hurricane season ends in November, so there is still the possibility of a cyclonic event affecting the country.
Full_Report (pdf* format - 342.8 Kbytes)
(*) Get Adobe Acrobat Viewer (free) With the exception of public UN sources, reproduction or redistribution of the above text, in whole, part or in any form, requires the prior consent of the original source. The opinions expressed in the documents carried by this site are those of the authors and are not necessarily shared by UN OCHA or ReliefWeb.
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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Packing For Nine

My days have been consumed with packing for 9 and going to Walmart [ yuk I hate to go there] to buy whatever we may need while in Guate for 3.5 months.
Is not fun. And I have to do it all as my dear husband does not pack. If he packed we would each get 2 outfits and they would not match. Plus since we are flying Spirit Air and have to pay $30 for each piece of checked luggage, Jody would make sure there was no luggage.So since we are staying with 7 children 5 to 16 for 3.5 months, I get to do the packing. I also get to pack all the wonderful donations you all sent. BTW, thanks Tom I got your package and the clothes and formula were great. There will be one suitcase per person and 3 for donations. I also have to keep Jody out of the packing room as he takes out things. He thinks everyone should have 1 Sunday outfit. Like I am going to wear the same dress every Sunday for 14 weeks. And I have to have my books and my music. The kids have to have at least one toy plus their books for school. Then to add to the chaos, there is the 14 year old boy and 16 year old girl who are freaking out about leaving their friends. And my husband has to get all our tax stuff done before we go. And there is a BIG snow storm coming sometime around when we are supposed to pull off this mountain and the 15 passenger which has to carry us all the way to FL. does not like snow. And bad things are happening like Pedro emailing us and my husband having some health problems.
So please pray for us. For peace and safety and a non-turbulent flight. Have I ever mentioned I hate to fly or rather I am afraid of flying. [ wasn't that the name of a book] .We need continued praying while we are down there. Pray also that I can do blogs half as good and often as joel's. Gosg pray that Joel stays and does all the blogs. For more money to expand the programs and for good health both physically and mentally.
Also want to mention again that our family air tickets and living expenses come out of our personal money. All your donations to Safe Homes goes to the programs.

thanks for your support and prayers.
Oh yeah the pictures are of the Guatemala 7[ in other words the kids who will doing this adventure with us ]