Thursday, September 10, 2009

State of Calamity proclaimed for HUNGER in Guatemala

Guatemala has proclaimed a state of CALAMITY for HUNGER. The MINISTER of HEALTH in the Cabinet has lost his position. The Clinica Maxeña is witness to this state of hunger and malnutrition in infants and small children. It is a situation that the CHURCH is in the front line to combat and accompany the people. It is said with this proclamation more funds will be available from International organizations for projects related to nutrition. We are well aware the solution is JUSTICE. An average field worker here can earn as low as $3.00 a day, and reality there is no work available. The corn and bean crop have failed because of lack of rain in many areas. The field workers risk their lives to migrate to the NORTH, the United States; often resulting in disintegration of the family. They pay high interest loans for this dangerous voyage, often with unscrupulous guides. They often lose the little land they have as they had put it up for collateral for the loan; they never arrive in their destination or they are unable to find work in the US.

Last week one infant arrived with severe malnutrition at one month of age. The mother, 40 yrs of age, ten children, has minimal breast milk. She has been supplementing the infant with water. The infant weighed 4 pounds. I visited the home after our worker interviewed the mother. Their situation is critical as it was obvious there was little or no food available, few of the children are enrolled in school, they are mostly barefoot on their dirt floor environment. They no longer own their land, but are now taking shelter, as they had taken a loan for a son to go to states and they could not pay the loan. One of our workers is a neighbor; he related that yesterday the neighbors collected a few pound of corn, beans,rice,and sugar to donate to the family as they knew they had no food to eat. The father has no work and the only crop they have is bananna. The Clinic Maxeña will provide formula for this infant and protein supplement for the other children.

Our Clinic has hopes to be able to collect additional funds from donors and perhaps an international organization for this critical cause of HUNGER which has resulted in a proclamation of STATE OF CALAMITY!!! THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!!!