Friday, October 28, 2011


Friends and Family,
To share a bit about WORLD DAY OF HUNGER, OCTOBER 16, 2011 for the Clinica Maxeña

We were determined not to let the rains and clouds overhead dampen our spirit as we began saturday preparations to commemorate World Day of Hunger. Clinic personell and Mission folk were preparing 15 delicious dishes of food and drink in different homes and ovens.

A beautiful photo display was placed at the Church entrance and our booths and clinic workers filled the small enclosed yard. The photos were of our successful project of Sustainable Agriculture. The focus was the five large baskets on the Mayan nutritive herb, Berro, lined in front of the booths. This was the first harvest of this healthy herb, also with medicinal properties, and also part of our Nutritional Project for malnourished children.

We also promoted our very own nutritous, hot drink, "Atole Maxeña", which is made from ground and toasted soy, corn, rice, wheat, mush, and peanuts.

Music played as Chico offered lively information of World Day of Hunger and of our project of Sustainable Agriculture.

The Day climaxed with a Raffle: the first prize was Cinnamon, a Siberian Husky puppy, whose father is CHAJINEL, a mission guard dog. Second prize was an ONIL stove, which we promote in our Envionmental Project. This stove uses little firewood and has a chimney which prevents many of the pulmonary diseases we encounter.

As the people began to disperse, with clouds still hanging overhead and a light drizzle of rain, the clinic personell began to give as gift to the elderly, bunches of the herb BERRO. Earlier in the day many purchased this herb which is used in salads, stews and patties, cooked over the open fire.

Attatched are pictures of the day. Blessings¡

Please donate on line for the work of the Clinica Maxeña at Note that your donation is for Clinica Maxena. thanks.
Love sheila

Friday, October 14, 2011


Friends and Family,
Breast feeding is part of the Mayan culture. Babies are carried on the mothers back, usually in a Mayan weaving, from the time of birth until they are walking about alone. Psychologists claim this contributes to the reality that mental illness and psychological issues are decreased in the population.

Why then is there such a need for infant formula? The reality is that malnutrition in women is very prevalent. Mothers are anemic and malnourished when they give birth, mostly with traditional midwives in their mountain villages. Their maternal milk is limited, sometimes non existant! Few receive prenatal care, although it is encouraged. The mountain village project, which is funded by the European Union, and initiated and part of the Clinica Maxeña for five years, has an excellent maternal health project but this includes only 22 mountain villages in our area and there are now more than 90! The Ministry of Health is also focusing on Maternal infant care as maternal deaths for Mayan women in Guatemala are high. Resources are limited and the Ministry of Health does not follow up or offer any infant supplement. Consequently the mothers and infants come to our clinic with their need to provide milk for the babies. Today parents, carrying twins in their arms, arrived at our door. One infant was born at home with a midwife the other for complication in the National Hospital. They are 22 days old with an average weight now of 4 pounds. The mom has an impediment in ambulating since birth. They were give little support for these premature infants. The mother spent seven days in the hospital and now she has no breast milk as she was given no support to maintain the breast milk. The twins are now enrolled in our Nutrition project, and their care and weights will be followed by our doctor. They are instructed on nutrition needs and when and what foods can be given to the infant to supplement the formula gifted. We were happy to welcome them to our Nutrition Project¡

Infant formula cost fifteen dollars for two pounds. We also have to be concerned for contamination of the water used and the condition of the baby bottle and nipples. It is not a solution but a need! We know the baby should be getting breast milk. Poverty and unemployment have brought about increased hunger and malnutrition to our area. We ask for your prayers and donations! We know the economic crisis in the world is affecting generosity of our benefactors; we dare to ask, to beg for your support! Blessings! Sheila

Send donations on line to Note for the Clinica Maxeña!

Attatched the young parents of premature twins. The mother has no milk, is very poor and disabled. She will attend the Nutrition program and the Clinic will provide formula. THANK YOU for your donation¡

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Friends and Family,
Today we accompanied Tomas and his family in his final farewell. Rains were heavy at moments and we all were drenched as we were present in the wake, funeral mass, and burial of our beloved friend and work companion of the Clinica Maxena, Tomas Lopez. Tomas was a very special person and loved by all who had the privelege to know him; he worked 35 years in the Clinica Maxena and retired two years ago at 75 years of age as a night guard and janitor. He was a poor man; he had 8 children and 60 grandchildren and great grandchildren. They chose to build their humble homes together in a small plot of land. Their doors were always open to each other and to the homeless; he was the center and Heart of the family. Tomas died of Liver cancer three months after diagnosis. He died with great dignity and peace. He called his family together to talk and comfort each and give counsel. He asked that his humble home be repaired for his wife before his death. His children completed the request and he was moved back into his home one day prior to his death. The home is made of wood and a dirt floor. He asked that they welcome those who were coming to him now with coffee and bread as he would do so, if he was able.

Hundreds came to the wake. Here the custom is to bring a few pounds of sugar and a small donation is dropped into the basket on top of the casket. The wake included a band and many church leaders offering prayer and homage, including Sr ANNA of our Mission. Plastic chairs were rented to accomodate the crowd. The service ended about midnight. The workers of the clinic made beautiful flower arrangements for the occassion and all came to pay last respects. The family borrowed money to provide the final farewell to their Dad and grandfather.

Today was the Funeral Mass. The sky was overcast but the rain did not come during the service or walk to the cemetery. THANK YOU TOMAS!!

Following the mass, as is the custom here for many, the casket makes rounds to homes of the children, as a last good bye. We were honored that TOMAS was brought to the clinic as a final good bye. The workers carried the flower arrangements they had made and other workers carried his casket three blocks from the church to the clinic. Chico, a clinic personell, gave the last farewell to Tomas. The casket was carried to the door of the CLINIC and the carriers genuflected three times, in respect and as a last farewell. The casket of TOMAS was then carried to the cemetery by clinic workers and accompanied by hundreds with flowers and tears. ADIOS TOMAS! VAYA CON DIOS!

Thank YOU for accompanying us on our JOURNEY to serve our brothers and sisters in GUATEMALA. Donate on line to the Clinica Maxena at

Sheila McShane, RN
Director of Clinica Maxena
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