Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cloudy Skies in the Forecast

Friends and family,
Greetings of Love from Guatemala. I was hoping I could report blue skies and sun but we are still hearing the drizzle of rain at night and soggy earth about us. I think it does affect one´s spirit even though I lived many years in Seattle and should be used to overcast. The news yesterday informed us that rains would be present until November and storms and hurricaines are brewing in the atmsophere. This will affect greatly the roads, crops and prices of food.

Yesterday was Nutrition Class for mothers with malnourished babies at the Clinica Maxeña. All the chairs were occupied by mothers with their infants and other small children under five. Micaela presented the class and taught a new recipe to the women and a short video was presented. The main ingredient in the nutritive snack was Chipilin, from our medicinal, nutritive garden. Chipilin is a tropical, leafy, green plant that is high in iron, calcium and beta carotene. This plant gives flavor and color to corn maze and used locally in tamales. Today it was combined with rice, and spices. After the class, the babies are brought to the clinic for consult and examined by Doctor Ever. The children all appear more healthy, smiling and gaining weight. Milk supplement is not a part of their normal diet but reality is the mothers all suffer a scarcity of breast milk because of their own nutrtive status and it is a necesity to recovery of malnutrition. Formula is expensive here, 20. dollars for 2.5 pounds. We limit the mothers to two cans per child per month, except in severe malnutrition. Powder Milk, Nido, is provided to older infants and children and also a local protein supplement, Incaparina. Soy is also promoted and grown in the clinic Garden. The women have learned how to make milk from this plant in this class, but time and patience is required. Chico, in charge of clinic projects, recently did some home visits with Micaela. These visits are essential to help us to understand the home situation and verify the poverty of the families. We hope to provide small gardens for the mothers in their own environment as a longer term solution. At the end of the class an ONIL stove was raffled to the mothers in attendance, and the mother who had the winning number was very happy with her gift.

Thank You for your donation to our clinic which enables us to provide milk and medical care to these mothers and infants. We do plan to provide more ONIL STOVES to the mothers in this class. 100. dollars provides a free stove to a needy family.

You can donate on line to the CLINICA MAXEÑA!! at

Photos included are: Micaela with Chipilin in the clinic kitchen, Myself with the mom who was gifted an ONIL STOVE and a view of a village road, damaged from the storms.
Blessings! love sheila