- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.fBBcEurs.dpuf Casa de Sion: 2012

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Day of the Dead


Day of the Dead


 

The Day of the Dead, November 1, corresponds to the Catholic holiday of All Soul’s Day.  It’s a legal holiday and there is no school.  In San Andeas, the market was open and full of vendors selling the usual array of fruits, spices and vegetables as well as housewares, shoes and the basics of life in one of the poorer areas of the world.  Someone moved in a video arcade for the kids that made a lot of noise and it had the flavor of the fair coming to town.

 

The centerpiece of the day is the cemetery decoration.  As you can see from the photos, flowers, wreaths and especially pine boughs garnished the poor, drab burial ground.  The pine boughs were most prolific because they were simply snapped off pine trees and pushed into the ground—no cost.  We walked through the cemetery enjoying the vivid splashed of color and occasionally reading the names and dates of those passed on.   And of course being reminded of our own mortality and the things that are important.

 

Before long it became evident that many of the graves were small—obviously children.  Once we started counting it appeared that most of the graves may have been small children.  The infant and child mortality rates are high.  The UN rated the area #4 in the world for chronic malnutrition.  Most of us cannot conceive of waking up to the day and not knowing what we were going to eat and where it was going to come from.  But it’s not unusual for many families.

 

The physical and intellectual stunting from this chronic malnutrition is devastating and many of the effects are irreversible.  If children do not get proper nutrients during those precious months of prenatal life and first few years of neonatal life, much of the ground cannot be regained.  When you see adults four feet tall, you know there intellectual capacity is also seriously diminished.  It’s simply heartbreaking!

 

Our prenatal Mother’s program along with the infant formula and toddler supplementation programs are designed to prevent this infant mortality and this very common stunting.  For only $20 a month you can open the door of opportunity for this next generation one family at a time.  Or collect infant formula and send it.  One boy scout recently sent us 5 large boxes  (three large suitcase worth) which we are taking down.

 

 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Karla Lucia

We have another little one who needs help.  Her name is Karla Lucia.  She 9 years old and has two little brothers.  She lives in one of the poorer communities that we help--Maria del Carmen.  


 This is her home where Karla lives with her mom, dad and two little brothers.



Her parents said that she walked until she was two and a half, it was then that they realized that one leg was shorter then the other.   Sadly her parents didn't (and don't) have the means to get her the medical help that she needs.  We would love to get Karla to the doctor and get her the care and tools she needs to help her walk without pain.

The medical care is free, Karla needs help with bus fare, room and board while they are in the city and any meds they give her .

If you would like to help Karla please donate or email me at erin.casadesion@gmail.com.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Anna Maria


With the Christmas season coming up we thought we would give you some opportunities to give!

Meet Anna Maria, she is 9 months old.


She is the youngest of 9 kids and the family is very poor.


We are not quite sure what is wrong with her legs, but we feel confident it is something that medical care can remedy. 



All 11 of the family members live in the house below.




We want Anna Maria to be able to run around with her bothers and sisters.  We want her to be able to walk to school and become whomever she wants to be.  We need your help so that we can send Anna Maria to the city and help her receive the medical help she needs. 

If you would like to help Anna Maria please donate (leave me a note with her name) or email me at erin.casadesion@gmail.com

Friday, November 09, 2012

Panimaché Quinto


We had a new community come to us asking for help.  They are a community of 290 people; 88 are kids under 14 and 67 of those are elementary age.  They were displaced a little over a year ago when a mud slide covered their village and all of their homes.  They lost everything.  They were able to scrap enough together to purchase a piece of land.  









The land they live on is less than desirable; it is cold, wet, and muddy most of time.  There is a strong wind that is almost always blowing.  It is usually about 40 degrees but will drop below freezing in the winter.  Their houses are made of scrap wood and metal.  There is no water nor electricity.  Everyone has dirt (or mud) floors.

The bright spot of the community is the 3 room school house.  A group came in a while back and built it for them.  Education is very important to this community.  Most of the children are at grade level which is VERY rare for the communities we are working with. 
 
It reads; "I believe in my future."






We send Mario up with some clothes to hand out, they were so very grateful, but sadly he ran out of shoes before he was able to give a pair to everyone who needed one.









We have high hopes for this community and would like to start our programs there.  We would like to start the tutorial and after school feeding program when school starts again in Jan.  We also need more cold weather items for this group before winter sets in.


Panimache Qunito needs list
-money for programs
-formula for infants
-coats, hats mittens, etc
-study shoes of all sizes




Saturday, November 03, 2012

From Sex trafficked Child To Child Advocate: Another Therapist

I am in Guatemala now and part of what I am doing it assessing and researching the incidence of trafficked children. I have learned 2 things. 1. You put your life on the line by housing sex trafficked children in a safe house. It might be blown up. 2. Teachers in the remote Mayan areas are scared to even do "good touch/bad touch" talks because if a kid comes forward and discloses abuse, the teacher puts his life on the line getting that child help. So basically not much is being done about it "because no one wants to die".
I have many pictures and have learned many other things about the communities and children and mamas we are helping. As soon as I get home and can put my pictures on my computer, I will post blogs about them.

Here is the next blog in my abuse series. Want to get them finished up so we can start on our book.




Another Therapist


 I am going to change the name of this blog from "From Child Prostitute To Child Advocate" to "From Sex-Trafficked Child To Child Advocate".   The first title seems to indicate some complicity on my part.  Many people ignorantly believe that prostitution is something that women do of their own volition.  That is rare and never the case with children.  And I know some of you are wondering when we will actually get to the part where I was trafficked.   I believe we have already gotten there.  At the time I was retrieving these memories neither one of us understood this, but now it seems most plausible that the men and women who came to the secret pineapple meetings in Hawaii were paying participants. They received drugs and sex and in exchange paid cash.  My dad sold his daughter and got sex and drugs for free.  This first cult experience in Hawaii did not have much ritual and little Satanism.  But this memory was mixed with others where the ritual of Satanism was more dominant.  I believe that some of the multi-perpetrator groups my father had me in used the word “Satanism” as a cloak.  It was easier to do all the evil things they did in the name of religion than to just admit they were dirty old men and women horribly abusing children.  History is littered with cruelties done in the name of religion.  At the time Jody and I did not have any other way of giving it a name and we were inclined to think there was some continuity between the various memories even when the geography changed.  And there was some ritual--like the act of killing yourself if you told and the brainwashing that went along with that.   "Child-Sex Trafficking" are words that started in the 21st century and more accurately describe my experience.

We began reading everything we could find on Ritual Abuse and Satanic Cults.  Always before I had thought of this as science fiction or the occult and not quite real, but there was something very real happening.  The palpable fear that Vicki was experiencing and radiating throughout the house was not part of her normal character.  Neither Vicki nor I understood it and there were few books on the subject; it was something very new. 

After networking for several weeks Vicki managed to find another therapist with experience in this area.  Joe was two and half hours away in another direction.  Before he would even meet with Vicki he peppered her with questions:  “Do you find that you sometimes lose time and don’t know what happened over a period of several hours or days?  Do you meet people who seem to know you but call you by a different name? . . . ”  Vicki answered no  to each question.   “Basically I’m trying to figure out whether you’re a multiple or not.  I’ve already got one such client and I can’t handle another.” 

In addition to Ritual Abuse we added several new words to our lexicon:  Multiple Perpetrator Abuse; Dissociation; Multiple Personality Disorder; and PTSD—Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.   There was another whole vocabulary that went with Ritual Abuse because it was of a much more severe order than sexual abuse or incest.  The word “ritual” came for the ceremony that went along with much of the abuse.

Joe belonged to a group of therapists and could only barter one-half of his fee, which was almost exactly how much her father was sending her each month.  But Joe was more than willing to do that.  Like Isaac he seemed to have a heart for the work that he did.

The nature of Vicki’s memories did not bother Joe.  He had heard it before and that offered a form of validation to Vicki—apparently other people had been through these kinds of experiences before.  It was real.  In one sense that was comforting; Vicki wasn’t crazy.  But it did underscore the potential of some of her fears. 

Joe did have a strict rule about not calling him after hours.  “This memory work is going to be very difficult,” he told Vicki in a form of understatement that we didn’t appreciate at the time, “and you need to get together a support team.  People you can call day or night to listen to you and help you work through this.”  My name was not to be on the list.  These were people she could call when I felt overwhelmed and needed time out.  I was especially grateful for this dictum because I could not handle much of Vicki’s reaction to her memories.  She would get angry and then nasty as if I had been the perpetrator and she blamed me for everything she was feeling.  This altered state of personality was called dissociation.  Joe said Vicki’s reaction to me was partially due to the fact that I did much of the actual memory work with her—what a therapist might normally do if she were close enough to do multiple sessions a week.  This conveyance of feelings was called transference and was supposed to happen with a therapist but it was too late to change since she could only do appointments every other week, and it was one of the things that we did well together.  Joe wanted her to make a list of five or six people who would volunteer for this role as telephone counselor and bring it to him.

After several sessions Vicki brought up the subject that worried us most:  Was Vicki’s father still involved with these groups?  Was there reason to fear?  At that time Joe was uncertain.  Vicki had not had any memories beyond simple incest while she was in her teenage years.   Her father had left the military and moved to their present home when she was fourteen years old.   It appeared from her memories that the ritual abuse had only occurred while he was in the military and traveling from one assignment to another. 

“To be safe I think you need to assume that he is still involved.  Based on my experience that’s what I would guess.  Not seeing him is a good idea--let’s continue that.”  Because of Vicki’s high level of fear Joe also though that Vicki should write him another letter saying that she had finished therapy and no longer needed him to continue sending money.   This ruse would throw him off and he would assume that she had not remembered anything beyond incest.

This part of my life was not happening in a vacuum.  Less than a month before Hannah was born I made a trip to Florida with Jody to see his mother who was dying of cancer.  She died a week later on Memorial Day.  A few weeks after Hannah was born word came that his father was in the terminal stages of melanoma.  He would die unexpectedly early in the beginning of September.   Life at this time was extremely hard.  Jody remembered a dream that he had had earlier of twin tornados that might best describe the devastation those two events caused in his life.  Our life during that season was a wreck and we were just surviving.  Hannah was my saving grace.  I wouldn't dare stab myself when I was pregnant--there was a baby inside!  And afterward she was totally dependent on me; it was imperative that I stay alive.  The sweet spirit of that tiny baby was Heaven sent.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Sex Tourism in Guatemala

Edy Tum is one of the most knowledgeable social workers in Guatemala. Since I am doing work with sex trafficking here in the USA, I started feeling guilty about not doing anything in Guate. So I have started my research to see if it is even a problem. Hence the preceding article. I wrote to Edy after reading the preceding article and asked him was it a problem and if so where and what was being done about it. The following is his answer. Keep in mind, I write in English, he google translates into Spanish. Then I google translate from Spanish into English. So here is the google translated answer he gave me.

" It is a big problem in Guatemala. The areas it is worse are Puerto Barrios, Guatemala City, Antigua and Lake Atitlan. We have laws against, but noe one is being prosecuted because big people are running it."

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Sex Trafficing in Guatemala

We thought this article was very interesting and very relevant to the overall purpose of Safe Homes for Children.  Our goal is that any child who crosses our path will never find themselves in the situation of the little girl mentioned below.  We aim to arm them with knowledge, health and power to keep themselves protected and in turn protect their future children.

Protecting girls from sexual exploitation in Guatemala


By Thomas Nybo
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, 25 November 2008 – On the dark streets of the capital city of Guatemala, away from the main thoroughfares, young girls as sell their bodies for money. In hundreds of bars, brothels and hotels across the city, an estimated 2,000 children are being sexually exploited and the law has been doing little to protect them.
Many of the girls were sold into the sex trade by family members. Others became desperate after being kicked out of their homes at a young age. Children are vulnerable to sex traffickers who often lure them with the promise conventional jobs that never materialize.
Once they have entered the sex trade, it is difficult for children to escape. A formidable combination of poverty, substance abuse and accumulated debt often leaves them feeling trapped and with few alternatives.
‘That’s how it started’
Ana María (not her real name) was abandoned by her mother at the age of six. She lived for years on the street, struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. Feeling hopeless, she took a job as a sex worker in a night club.
“I met a man when I was nine-and-a-half years old,” says Ana Maria, who is now 17. “He worked at a night club and he took me with him – that's how it started.”
Ana María was forced to work in a filthy brothel, where the woman in charge deducted inflated expenses to supposedly cover room and board. By the end of the month, after expenses, she had little to show for her work. Eventually, Ana María returned to the street.
Legislation to protect children
Her situation is all too common in Guatemala, a country with no serious laws against the sexual exploitation of children.
“Globally, children's sexual exploitation is considered a serious crime, condemned beyond national borders. Nevertheless, in Guatemala it is not considered a crime. The traffickers are sanctioned with a small fine” says UNICEF Representative Adriano González-Regueral.
Too often, the child victims of sex crimes here are labeled by society as the criminals, while the adult perpetrators walk free.  UNICEF is working to get legislation enacted – and enforced - that will finally offer protection to girls like Ana María. But the legislative gears grind slowly in Guatemala. The most serious and complete of the proposed laws was presented to congress in August: 'The Law Against Sexual Violence, Exploitation and Trafficking'.
“UNICEF is working with the tourism industry, with academics, with the government and with civil society to build awareness about what constitutes sexual exploitation, where it can be found and what can be done to stop it,” says UNICEF Guatemala Child Protection Specialist Justo Solorzano.
A long way to go
For the past five months, Ana Maria has been under the care of Casa Alianza Guatemala, a UNICEF supported organization that protects children in need, especially those who have suffered physical and psychological abuse. The goal is to integrate the children back into mainstream society, preferably with their families whenever possible.
“Casa Alianza started working in Guatemala 27 years ago,” said Executive Director of Casa Alianza Guatemala Claudia Rivera. “We have several programs to work in prevention, to work at the streets directly. And we also have a program that looks for justice at the court for the children.”
The road ahead for girls like Ana Maria is difficult. She's been free of drugs and alcohol for many months, and she's already received basic vocational training. But she feels she still has a long way to go.
“I don't think I'll return to the sex trade,” she says, now hopeful for her future. “I want to give my daughters a good example. I feel strongly that I don't want my girls to go the same direction that I did.”

Monday, October 01, 2012

Update on Lucia


Lucia is a little girl we have written about before.  She was found back in the Spring when Kellen Hansen brought down a medical group.  While the group was in Maria del Carmen we bussed in some of the kids from Nueva Victoria.  Dr. Kim had the children sit in a circle while she did a quick heart, ear, eyes and throat check on them.  When she got to Lucia she realized that something was wrong.  Her heart didn't sound good and her eyes were glazed.  Her heart was not working right and she was having a hard time breathing, her life was very scary.

 


After following up with Dr. Peter she was sent into the city to insert a catheter in her heart.  When she arrived they found that her teeth were rotted and she had an infection.  The hospital filled out a prescription and sent her home.  A couple weeks after being home we checked on her progress and found that the prescription had not been bought because the family did not have the money.  We bought the prescription for her and her parents promised she would take it.

On her second trip to the city the doctors were able to put in the catheter and determined that she could indeed have the open heart surgery that she needed.





 When it was time for her surgery, Lucia and her parents were ready...but the hospital was not.  It rained quiet a bit the night before her surgery and the operating room flooded!  The surgery had to be postponed.  There were some great people there encouraging her parents to stay as they were nervous and getting inpatient.






Finally Lucia had open heart surgery and it went well and she was on her way to recovery.  More money had to be sent to pay for her family's food, water and Lucia's medicine.


When it was time to come home we sent Mario in the van to get her.




She was put to bed to continue to recover.  The outlook is good for Lucia.



While the actual medical care was covered by a medical partner group, they don't/can't cover basic living expenses.  So to have this open heart surgery Lucia needed everything else paid for--from transportation to the city, to food and water and any medicine.  There were a few special women from the medical team that found her that put a lot of time and energy into raising this money to help Lucia live a long and fruitful life.  If it weren't for them then Lucia would still be living in fear...or worse.

We have saved the life and the quality of life of many children this way.  When medical groups visit we have discovered the children that have either been hidden away or their medical condition has not been diagnosed.  Dr. Peter is ready and willing to help us follow up on those children when the medical team leaves, so that we know how to proceed to improve their life.  When they need to go to the city for care we depend on donors to help the family get there.  Sadly many of the children that need help do not get it simply because their family can not afford the gas, food and/or medicine.  If you would like to help a child like Lucia please email (erin.casadesion@gmail.com) me so I can put you on a list of people to contact when the need arises OR donate now and indicate that you would like the money to be held in reserve for medical emergencies.

And if you are a nurse/doctor/dentist wanting to visit please contact me to schedule a trip.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Clothing distribution

So many of you donate clothing, shoes and toys for which we are so grateful. 

  Your donations get to Guatemala different ways.  Some of you take them down yourselves and some of you ship them to us.  If they are shipped to us we store them until one of two things happens; 1) we pay for a container to go down--we drive everything to PA and load it up, it gets delivered to Guatemala; or 2) some of us travel down.  Then we only take what we need in our carry ones and bring two large suitcases full of donations each. 

I'm not sure how many of you realized how much your donations are appreciated by those who receive them in Guatemala.  Dominga (who runs the house in Guatemala) has a schedule for distribution.  She always knows who needs what and when.  She knows each family and their children.  She has everything organized in her little "tienda" and when it is their turns the moms come gather what they need for their family.





Notice his new shoes.
 Dominga also sets aside the new and like new newborn clothing and creates a gift for each mother bringing home a new baby complete with homemade hats, blankets, mittens  and clothing.

So from them to you--Thank you!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Self Sufficiency


We are big proponents of self sufficiency.  We think the poor should be cared for, but we also hope that they will one day be able to care for others.  Welfare should be short term.  With that in mind we strive to not handicap those we are helping by making them dependent on us.  We are hoping that the babies we feed will go to school, that the school kids we tutor will continue to highschool and the highschool scholarships we pay for will lead to leaders in the community and stable families and that some day, we will not be needed.

In that spirit, here are some pictures of the scholarship students from Chutiestancia doing the work they do in return for the scholarship they receive.  This Saturday they are clearing some of the land at Los Robles.  The boys brought their own machetes and the girls picked up everything they cleared.



 

Our students

If any of these great kids stand out to you let me know, because they will need scholarships again in a couple months.

Thank you for helping us help these kids!

Friday, August 24, 2012

From Sex Trafficked Child To Child Advocate: Into Another World



 

Into Another World


 

"These memories are 22 years old. At the time "Child sex trafficking" were not words being used by people in the field of child abuse. Words like "multi-perpetrator" and "ritual abuse" and "satanism" were the politically correct words for the kind of abuse I was remembering. Today, August,23,2012, after having read many stories of children used in the sex trade, I know that this is what was happening to me. My dad and his buddies had a for-profit business going on and me and other kids were the commodities they were offering. The masks, rituals and satanic symbols were just a way of instilling fear into us children and helping the abusers believe that what they did was okay. But the johns were ordinary men and some women who were attracted to kids and had found a way to live out their fantasies.  This was just one of the groups my father had me in that sold kids for sex. Over the next 8 years there would be 6 more, all different and all with their own bents for evil. The one thread they had in common was the sale of kids for sex.The memories are being told as they were remembered including the language that we used at that time."

 

These new memories came more slowly and took much longer to process.  One of the hardest parts was determining whether they were real.  Sexual abuse was easy to understand and it was validated by the men she knew in her men's group.  Even though people did not want to talk about it, everyone knew it was going on.  Estimates ranged from 25% to 40% of adults were sexually abused as children.  But this was something different; it stretched credulity.   Aside from the one group leader--no one we knew had heard of ritual abuse; it wasn’t real.

 

The emotional strain on Vicki was certainly real—much more so than the memories of sexual abuse.  To be raped by half a dozen men at a gathering was not unusual.  And the fact that she had been handed over to the group by her father invoked more shame.  But there was also torture and violence in these groups.  In another memory of the Hawaii group, she witnessed the leader call one of the women into the center of a circle of members.  “You told!” he railed at her, “you know what you must do.”  The leader handed her a large knife and she stabbed herself in the stomach.  “This is what happens to people that tell,” he intoned to the group.  With the hindsight of twenty years on this memory work,  I don't  know if this happened for real.  I know it seemed real to me as a child and that was the terror that I remembered some thirty-five years later as an adult.  Real or not it was meant to instill fear and it certainly did that.  It was a potent form of brainwashing.   The feelings of needing to stab myself in the belly were so dangerously real.  But my maternal feelings of needing to protect my unborn baby were stronger and I knew I could never hurt her.  After this memory Vicki, more than once, was grateful for being pregnant.  While an incident 35 years old in a very dimly lit past seemed to hold an immense amount of sway on her present life, there was no way she was going to kill her own baby.

 

As winter deepened Vicki was unable to make therapy sessions in either direction.  With spring she made a couple more sessions with Isaac before closing down therapy for the birth of her baby.  Isaac was initially puzzled by these new memories and seconded her notion to postpone any memory work until after the baby was born.   But her memories had their own schedule.  As a present to herself after the baby was born, she bought a set of expensive cotton sheets for our bed.  They had a rich and colorful tropical floral print and as soon as she put them on our bed she knew she had made a mistake.  She was reminded of Hawaii and the jungle where the meetings were held.   A series of flashbacks came and more horrific nightmares.   Those sheets went off our bed and were not used for several years.

 

When she returned to Isaac in mid-summer, his attitude was different.  He had been reading about ritual abuse because another of his clients was revealing similar recovered memories.  He did not want to work with Vicki anymore, ending the relationship of over two years abruptly.  The truth was that Isaac was afraid.  Like Vicki, Isaac wondered whether her father was still involved.  Therapists were often a target of these groups.  And when Vicki came home with that bit of startling information, she was more terrified than ever.  Isaac had been her trusted talisman and now she didn’t have a counselor to help and guide her.  Besides, if Issac was scared enough to drop me, I knew there was good reason to be afraid.  Isaac was ex-military and packed a gun.   Life was so hard at that point, surrounded by fear--it was part of every waking moment and impossible to explain.  Also, I was taking care of a houseful of 8 kids and getting little sleep at night, becoming more and more undone.   Jody, angry and confused that things were getting worse and not better, was always there to do memory work with me, no matter how strange, but he could not do night duty--and that was the time I dreaded.   The routine of housework and the love of family kept me going.  The kids were always needing love and attention and giving lots of love in return. 

 

One of the main differences between the incest work and this new memory work was the level of fear.  According to her memories it had been programmed into her from her childhood.  If she ever told, she needed to self-destruct and if she didn’t they would come after her and do it themselves.  And now she was telling.  It was usually only me she was telling as I listened to her remember out of the forgotten abyss of her childhood, but she was breaking the silence.  Fear swept through our lives.  While I was less fearful than Vicki, she had enough for the both of us and more.  Was her father still involved?  We didn’t think so but we didn’t know for sure.  For the first time in our lives she locked the doors each night and paid careful attention to where the kids were at all times.  Could our phone be tapped?  These men from her past were her father’s age.  Had they been keeping up with her all these years?  How much did they know about our lives?  Were our kids in danger?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bottles and Breast


Most of you have probably heard of the great debate between breast and bottle.  Some of you probably have very strong opinions.  Well, we are going to give you a change to express those opinions (monetarily that is).  We first started the formula program because of a baby who died while we had containers of formula sitting in our storage, we vowed that no other child in Los Robles would die from malnourishment.  We started handing out formula and now have 100s of babies (in 3 plus communities) that are getting proper nourishment.  Most of these babies get half formula/half breast milk, some get all formula--but the deciding factor for the mother's is not which is best, it is DOES she have a choice.  Most of the women in our program are so malnourished that they are not producing milk. 


When Katie and Vicki (both big promoters of the breast) were in Guatemala last month they talked about how to help more women breastfeed their babies.  It was decided that we will offer food incentives to  the women already in our programs who want to try to exclusively breastfeed.  We are also accepting new moms but not putting their infants on the formula program.  We are weighing each child and then if the child is not gaining weight then they will be given formula, but if they are gaining the mother will be enrolled in our feeding program (which will provide lunch 3/days week).  If she does not live close to a feeding program then she will be given incaparina for herself.  We are hoping this will make a healthier mother and baby.

Katie and her group are working on getting their local Le Leche League involved.  

So how can you help (monetarily that is)?  Donate of course.  If anyone wants to sponsor a breastfeeding mom is is $30/mth.




Silver lining--it is WAY cheaper to feed the mom then buy the formula for the baby--this would allow us to include more moms in the program.  You can also help by talking to your local Le Leche League about donating or helping sponsor a fundraiser.  Please let me know if you are interested in sponsoring a breastfeeding mom (or if you are already sponsoring and want your money to go towards that just shoot me an email).

Monday, August 06, 2012

Eduardo


Back in June we posted about a little boy Eduardo, he is 3 years old.  Eduardo cannot hear, the hearing aids that he needs cost $2000.  (Dr Peter told us that the hearing aids would enable him to hear load noises and things that might be dangerous to him.)


We have not received any help for Eduardo, but luckily for him things have changed a little.  We have found a school in Panajachel for hearing impaired children.  We believe that if he attends this school they will help with the hearing aid he needs (not to mention sign language and all the other education he will receive).  His family can not afford the transportation to school everyday.  It will cost them $20/mth in transportation.  Can anyone help with this?

His mother is very active in advocating for him, so we feel confident that if we can get him to this school she will be able to get the rest of what he needs.


Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Katie


 July was a great month for us in Guatemala.  Katie from Humanitize Expeditions came to us twice.  First she brought a group of teenagers who did their part to effect change, while they experienced the 3rd world.  They helped out with our programs, did arts and crafts, visited the new villages and prepped for the next group by weighing kids and taking stats at the clinic.  They kept a great blog and each kid wrote about an experience--you should read it, the world through the eyes of a teenager is always a little more entertaining.

After a week the kids left and Katie returned with a medical team and they held clinics all week in Los Robles and in the other three villages where we have programs. (Again, they kept a very detailed blog.)  They had lines and lines and saw hundreds of people.  Here are a few highlights. 

 Below there are a few pictures from their trip to Maria del Carmen--they went twice (to make sure they got everyone and to see some that needed to be seen twice), they handed out hygiene kits and got stats on all the kids.  (I pulled the following from their blog) "We saw a total of 28 people by 3 PM (we arrived at 10 AM) and passed out 17 goody bags composed of vitamins and tums to people who were still waiting to be seen. An elderly man and his wife came in right as we were passing out vitamins; he was an 80 year old blind man who was so grateful when we gave him some anti-diarrhea pills. Unfortunately,  no matter how many people we saw, it didn’t seem like we did enough. It was frustrating to see the problems with their village and want to do more, but we couldn’t. As we were leaving with people surrounding our car, the tears started. Julie, Tristyn, and I had tears rolling down our faces".







On the way home from Maria del Carmen they stopped to see Lucia in Nueva Victoria.  Below is a picture of Lucia, she has a heart problem. The medical team ran some test on her including an echocardiograma. Now they have to do a "cateter test"--it was going to be done last week but they found a sever infection in her teeth, so they reschedule it for August 21st.  
She has to go back to Guatemala City for these test.
 
 
They also visited Nueva Victoria and Chutiestancia.
 
There was a mother's program in Chutiestancia, the stats are as following.
91 mothers attended.
We gave 234 pounds of incaparina for 117 children.
We gave formula to 21 kids.
We gave eggs to 9 pregnant women.
And we served 293 LUNCHES.

They also had lots of fun eating Dominga's yummy food, touring the neighboring town and enjoying the culture.  Thank you Katie and teams!  We are so grateful for you and all you did, you made a huge difference and we can't wait for you to come back.

(read it all at http://www.humanitizeexpeditions.blogspot.com/)

If you or someone you know if interested in a trip to Guatemala let us know.  We are set up for groups or individuals (medical or other types of service).  Our housing is safe and very affordable (and includes meals).  There is lots of fun tourist stuff to do nearby and most important there are amazing people to serve.