- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.fBBcEurs.dpuf Casa de Sion: May 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Amazing Things Get Done With Volunteer teams

Nurses, kids and Candy go together

Lake Atitlan: can I say more?

If you do a volunteer vacation with us., the Lake is included
Hard to forget the people when you have to go home

 The nurses all set to do intakes
Without SAFE HOMES FOR CHILDREN AND CASA DE SION, he would still have walking sticks


20.vicki@gmail.com and please like us on www.facebook.com/casadesion

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Elderly Mayan Couple Need Wheelchair

Poor lady can't even get to the outside bathroom

 Life among the Mayans can be dark and dreary esp. if you are handicapped. I spent a month in a wheelchair down there and know from experience. Not to even be able to go to the bathroom. Or to be an 80 year old man and have to carry your wife everywhere. WOW
Sweet Mayan couple. He is 80, she is 79. He can no longer carry her, even to the outside bathroom

inside of their Mayan Guatemalan home

Notice the adobe house.   After the horrific 1976 earthquake no one built with abode because it was too dangerous.  Everyone started using cement block and a special post and beam earthquake construction.  But over the past few years the cost of block has increased beyond the range of the poor and people again are going to abode.  Because it cannot be reinforced it is especially dangerous.

The Bathroom??? There are NO handicapped bathrooms in Guatemala.
Got another report from my staff of folks in need. Since need is never ending among the Mayans of Guatemala, we get a lot of these and can not help them without your help. Please donate so we can say yes. 100% of your donations go to help folks like these. Here is the quoted report

"Mario sent these pics from a couple: she is Manuela, 79 years old; AND her husband is José, 80 years old. Since 5 years ago she can't walk, AND her husband doesn't Have The strenght anymore to carry her from one place to another in The house. They Live alone AND The pics show The house where they Live. A wheel chair would be of a GREAT help for them, specially when he needs to take her to the bathroom which is not inside The house. Some people told them about Casa de Sión AND that is why they called me to Ask for help AND see if we can Get her a wheel chair."

Vicki Dalia
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Successful Volunteer Vacation in Guatemala

We have a wonderful supporter who brings us teams that do much good thru out the year. This was a nursing teams: RNs and student nurses who came to help. Below is the initial report they made on their work among our Mayan communities. I will post more pictures and comments from this great team as well as the amazing dental team we had: again dentists and students.
so many Mayans in Guatemala who need the medical help

some great nurses

our clinic needs the meds

the teams all seem to love Dominga's cooking

 Below is the quote

"Saw the team off this morning at the airport and am spending the rest of the day in a home hostel near the airport with my feet up, listening to the rain outside, reading and catching up on email and FB. We treated over 325 patients, made great new friends, and learned a lot. I am grateful for every team member and their amazing contributions to the efforts to provide health care and education to the Mayan communities we visited. I will be back to Utah tomorrow night to get ready for the two June teams. The MTSU students are not only wonderful clinicians but awesome organizers, the clinic is in terrific shape and ready for the June med"

We had wonderful news yesterday. here is another quote from our accountant in Guatemala about Edison the little boy I posted about last week. he is deaf and now has the hearing aids he needs. TTL
I read your blog about Edison. It was nice to see what I wrote in your blog. Thanks.
Now, I got new news for you:
“Remember Edison?, the deaf little boy from Agua Escondida, who you are helping with the transportation?
Well, I have good news. I helped his mother (Rosario) to write a letter and I went with her to talk to some people from the school he is attended here in Pana to ask if they could help her with special ear phones for his deaf son. That was like one month ago.
And guess what ????????? HE GOT HIS SPECIAL EAR PHONES. He had them on last Friday when I saw them. I didn´t have a camera with me that moment but I will get one. He doesn´t listen very well right now, but he has to practice and get use to the ear phones step by step. Rosario (the mother) is so happy and she told me to tell you about it. Now, the problem is that she doesn´t have money for the batteries and she is asking if we can help her?... She is gonna let me know how much are the batteries and how often they need to change them, and when I know , I’ll let you know.?"

Great things are happening
Vicki Dalia
Director of http://www.safehomesforchildren.org

Friday, May 24, 2013

Edison: the deaf poster child for Casa de Sion

This is a little deaf boy that I just love. he is so humble and sweet and has such proper manners taught to him by a mother who loves him

I have loved this child and his family for a couple of years. His mama works so hard for his advancement and is always advocating for him. She has no education. His father works hard for the subsistence of his family, but he also has no education. The dad  is cognitively disabled and sells avocados for as much as he can make.  They are a wonderful, hardworking gracious family. I was interested and excited to get the following email from my accountant who hands the money out to the programs.

The picture shows 2 people I have learn to love thanks to your help and programs.
The little boy is EDISON (I'm sure you remember him). He is the sweetest little boy I have met. As you can recall, he can not hear or talk (he is deaft-mute). But he can communicate wonderfully with signs, smiles, hugs and kisses. I say this because every 2 weeks I gave his mother the money for transportation to bring him to the special school in Pana, he has been tought to tell me thanks with signs, to give me a hug and give me a kiss... I feel so great !!!! And this is thanks to the help you are giving him and her mother to come everyday from Agua Escondida to PAnajachel to the special school. And this school has been giving him a lot of confidence and a lot of help to communicate with other people (he was very shy before).
And his mother, Rosario, is an example of a mother. She has sacrified everything for her boy. She gives her life for her boy. All her time is for her boy. And she says that she is very thankful to you for the help of transportation that you are giving her and she says that she is sure that God is blessing you in all ways. She hopes to tell you all this in person when you come back again. And she will take his boy to you to see how he has been growing and how has he been improving.
HE IS A GREAT BOY... AND SHE IS A WONDERFUL MOTHER... It is worthed the help.

We love your help, so we can help them.

Send this to your interested friends and like us on Facebook

Have a wonderful day.

Vicki Dalia

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Adding a new Mayan community to Our feeding programs in Guatemala

Adding a new community for our feeding programs has a hard part and an easy part. The easy part. We have 24 on the waiting list and anyone we pick will be happy to see us come. Another easy part is determining that almost all the people here are so poor they can not help themselves. The hard part: making sure we can afford the food it takes to feed them. In the case of this community, we had 60 elementary school kids plus about 15 mamas of toddlers or infants plus their assorted toddlers and infants. That made about 105 malnourished people to feed lunch to 3 days a week. Plus we always hire a teacher to tutor the kids for 3 hours a day 5 days a week. Then we had to be prepared for the requests that are sure to come. Financial help for their middle school and high school kids to be able to continue in school and help for all the medically fragile people in the community. Total costs: Maybe around a $1000.00 a month or maybe more because once you take on a community they become like family. If the mudslides wash them out during rainy season, you want to help. If a child is dying, you definitely can't say no. BOTTOM LINE, WE NEED YOUR FINANCIAL AND MATERIAL GOODS HELP FOR THE COMMUNITY OF TOCAYCHE.  Here's a list: school supplies, shoes, OTC meds, VOLUNTEER VACATION TEAMS  to get to know the people and help, infant formula and cold hard cash. You can donate on our donate button or write me at 20.vicki@gmail.com for an address.
Our first view of the community of Tocayche in Guatemala

The type of home most of them lived in. Floor is probably dirt. With a little luck maybe unpainted cement

The poverty was not hard to surmise

Some of the Mayan mamas we will be feeding

Mamas and tots who will also be in our feeding program in Guatemala

60 kids in this Mayan elementary school. 

Isn't he a cutie

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Volunteer Vacations are Inspiring and Fun and Save Lives

Our two weeks spent at the Casa de Sion in April were incredibly moving and memorable. I’ll share a few of my memories.

Every morning we would start our day at the Casa, where we would eat breakfast cooked by the amazing Dominga and discuss the plan for the day with incredibly organized “Super Mario.” We would then pack up the van and set off to whichever small town we were serving for the day.

Upon arrival in the town, we would check out the space we planned to use for our clinic. A few times we had an actual clinic, and many times we would have a community center where we would set up some makeshift private rooms using chairs, sheets, pieces of wood, or whatever else was on hand.

Each clinical space would be attended by a student and a resident or doctor. We also would set up an intake area for vital signs and history taking, and a pharmacy/checkout area. Our staff of 12 took turns rotating through the various duties every day.

The majority of the patients we saw were women and children, though we also saw a few men. The patients were dressed in their beautiful traditional colorful “traje” and many women would have a baby or toddler snuggled comfortably in their shawls on their back or chest. Their medical concerns were varied, but many had headaches, backaches, and stomach problems. In many towns we used interpreters who translated from the patients’ native Quiche to Spanish to assist in our history-taking.

We felt fortunate to be able to visit Lucia, a young girl whom we had diagnosed with a heart condition a year ago. Since that time, she has had heart surgery arranged by the Casa de Sion, and she has now recovered very well and is energetic and thriving, and has gained 20 needed pounds! She was not too happy to see the American medical foks again, but her parents were very grateful.

Another memorable patient was a young woman with uncontrolled seizures. We were able to get her started on a medication which helped control the seizures and now she can live a more independent life without the constant supervision of her family.

We were happy to see that Nueva Victoria, a town which did not have either running water or electricity when we were here last year, now has both. The women no longer need to hike downhill 4 km and back up carrying heavy water jugs.

I found the people to be reserved but very generous and welcoming. They have so little materially, but shared food and drinks with us and welcomed us into their communities and told us much about their lives.  This enriched my experience and made me feel a strong sense of connection with them. I feel so incredibly fortunate for this, as well as the chance to work with such an interesting and compassionate team of students, residents, doctors and staff. It was truly an experience of a lifetime. 

Kim McDermott MD

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day Plea: Two Stories on Why We Want to Open the Orphanage/ Part Two

Here is baby Karla, obviously a sweet Mayan baby. Her problem is she has no Mama. She is being kept alive by a grandma and a 8 and 10 year old girl. She is basically living on a bed in a dark room in Guatemala. The reason the picture is dark is because her life is dark and it was taken in the dark room she lives in. I know she would be placed by her family in the orphanage as soon as it opened. We provide her formula and her clothes now as the family is too poor to provide them. The problem is we can not make sure the formula is fed to her and we can not make sure she is taken care of.
I know that the ones of you who have a parents heart can relate to this. Can you please help so we can help her???
HERE's How
1. Be her sponsor for $40 a month
2. Pay the $2750 we need to get started on the mountains of paperwork required.
3. Help pay for the third floor we need to be able to house the orphans. Bring a team down and paint walls and furniture so we look presentable.
4. Pray for the help we need before Karla becomes one more Guatemalan malnourished kid tragedy.

Hope you had a great Mother's Day

Vicki Dalia
Director of Safe Homes For Children-Casa de Sion

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Mother's Day Plea: Two Stories on Why We Want to Open an Orphanage/ Part 1

Many of you will remember Juan and his two boys, Juanito (on the right) and Erwin.  Juan came to work several years back as a guardian and field hand, and it was soon evident that Juan had some serious mental health issues.  He worked at a snail's pace and was perfectionistic to a fault.  But he was malnourished and pitiful and it was hard not to want to help him.  His presence at our facility on the weekends gave us security and his two boys obviously needed some structure in their lives.  They had been living on the streets of Guatemala City.  And that's what we were doing: helping kids (and adults that were really only kids). These boys
The boys did not seem to have a mother and were lacking many of the love pats a mother adds to a child's life. I tried to add some of the things to their lives that a mother would have made sure they had. It was hard tho as Juan did not cooperate. I wanted routine. I wanted discipline. I wanted cleanliness and a healthy diet.He wanted none of these. He loved them in an easy way as long as it required no effort. We got the boys in school next door and we didn't know it at the time, but this was probably the highpoint of their lives.  As if often the case with abused and neglected children (and adults), with the security (meals and a paycheck) of their new life we started having problems.  We decided that Juan was probably autistic which accounted for the fact that it took him a month to do a two-day job.  And part of it was plain old attitude.  Dominga complained of missing food from the locked kitchen. Then volunteers began complaining of money missing even from locked rooms.  We knew the latter was Erwin who could charm the socks off anyone.  We had several "come to Jesus" talks which didn't do any good.  Several times Juan was absent without notice for days at a time and his one redeeming factor--security--was useless.
After endless warnings, we eventually had to let him go, which was a heartbreaker for us, and he moved to Panajachel where he had been going to church and had engendered similiar sympathies among many of the members.  Months later he wore out his welcome there as he had with us and he and the two boys were on the streets again.  Roy, our accountant, had an old house he let them use and we gave them a monthly allotment of food--part of our fast offering.  In time they left that house and were living on the streets again but with a more lavish lifestyle that scared us.  It looked like the two boys were doing prostitution. 
Recently, the two boys disappeared for a week and Juan finally went to the police.  When the boys returned, the court got involved.  Juan did not have proper paperwork and the boys were sent into an orphanage, which will be their last best chance for a relatively normal life.  This story is not that uncommon with the rampant malnutrition that causes serious and permanent damage to the brain.  This and several other stories that we'll publish over the next few weeks are causing us to rethink opening the orphanage.  While it was one long battle for us with the government, the winners were the kids.

We also need a mature couple to make a  commitment to the running of said orphanage and our other projects among the poor Mayans of Guatemala .
Money for the orphanage project can be donated with the donate button or sent by check to
Vicki Dalia
Casa De Sion Director
CEO of Safe Homes For Children
3303 Pond Mountain Lane
Whitetop, VA 24292

Casa de Sion
Fundraising Coordinator
Master of Public Administration
Marriott School of Management

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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Husband Found Dead; Widow and Orphaned Children Need your help

Got Word last week that a man had been found dead in Los Robles. He left this widow and 4 orphaned children. 

This is the youngest, age 3.This is the house that the desperate family lives in. There are 3 more children ages 5,7 and 11. The house needed more lamina to protect the family from the mud and wetness during the rainy season. In Los Robles, Guatemala we have bad rainy seasons. Luckily we had lamina that a volunteer vacation team had used on another project. That project had to be rebuilt from the ground up so we stored the donated lamina. We are now giving it to this Mayan family.

Donate to our projects mark your gift as for the widowed lady and her 4 orphaned children. She has NO education and is unable to provide for her family. The government provides no aid. We will use your money to buy food for them.

Vicki Dalia
Director of Casa de Sion/Safe Homes For Children