Tuesday, December 13, 2011

This family consists of two sisters, ages 12 and 17, who live with their grandparents and aunts and uncles.  Their most urgent needs are assistance with Lesly’s university expenses and help with food for the family.

The Children
Lesly Stephanie, 17, was born January 14, 1994.  Her student number is 1276 and she will be starting at the university in 2012.  In high school she studied to become a kindergarten teacher and she wants to continue her education at the University of Sololá to study psychology.   

Elisa, 12, was born December 6, 1999.  Her student number is 1277 and she will be in 4th grade in 2012. 

Their Family
The girls’ mother was 40 years old when she developed stomach cancer.  It had spread by the time they sought treatment and she died a year after diagnosis, in December 2009.  When the mother was sick the father told her he’d take care of the children, but he began drinking heavily and left the family shortly before the mother died.  When she realized the father wouldn’t be reliable to care for the children, the mother asked her mom to care for the children. The father died homeless in September 2010.

The grandmother, Maria Isabel, is 59 years old and works as a domestic earning $10 (75Q) per week.  The grandfather is 62 years old and is currently without work because it is the rainy season.  He is very animated when he talks, with bright, happy eyes.  He builds houses and he built the house they live in.  Before that, he had been working construction in the city for seven years and when he left that job he received a large bonus that he used to build their house.  Other aunts and uncles live in the housing complex also.  The grandparents had 11 children – two have died and four are married.  The married ones eat with their family but all the single children eat together with the grandparents and they all share the expense of the food. 

The grandmother wears traditional clothes though the girls don’t.  Their clothes were in nice shape and they all had shoes and jackets.  The grandfather wears western clothes. 

Their House
They own their house – a large block house in Panajachel, Barrio Norte.  It has a cement floor and electricity, though no running water.  The kitchen is inside with a large wood stove for cooking, a water filter (new in July 2011), and a working refrigerator.  The house is solid, though water was dripping down the stairs to the second floor and rain pooled in the entry room.

The sisters sleep together on a double bed with a mattress donated to them in September 2010.  There is no sheet and only one blanket.  They share the room with an aunt who has her own bed.  The grandparents sleep in the next room. 

Expenses were very tight last year while Lesly was in her last year of high school.  They had to pay for transportation and food daily while Lesly was out of the house since she spent all day at school.  She also had occasional school expenses for projects.  The grandmother would take on additional work washing clothes whenever Lesly had school expenses so as to provide her with as much as they could but often they just couldn’t pay the expense.

In the past three years this family has received several donations through Mayan Families and Maria Isabel said that they are very grateful for everything.  Their greatest needs as of now are food and transportation costs for Lesly to travel to Sololá to attend school.

Their Needs
Confirmation that Lesly’s sponsor is going to continue at the university level

$220                       Transportation expenses for Lesly to attend the university in 2012

$100/mo              Food donation (though any amount is helpful)

$150 each            Traditional clothes for Lesly and Elisa

How to Donate

  • To use PayPal, click the button below to go to Mayan Families' donation page. Enter the donation amount in the Family Aid field. Enter Lesly 1276 and Elisa 1277 for the Family Name. Specify the purpose of the donation in the Extra Notes box.

  • To pay by check, include a note specifying Lesly 1276 and Elisa 1277 as the recipient and the purpose of the donation. Mail to:

Mayan Families
PO Box 52
Claremont, NC 28610