How can is possibly be that it is April already? How can it be that we have offically completed one year of not being able to have the abuelos at the project. A whirlwind of a year that seemed to last an instant and an eternity. As for many, it was a year of learning, adapting and overcoming. We are humbled by the countless amounts of people that came together to not only make the project function daily, but in many ways thrive.
We still hold out hope that one day we will be able to reopen the dining area for our abuelos. In the same breath we are also aware that those we serve are growing older. This year was beyond difficult for them both mentally and physically. As they are changing, so are their needs. We have noticed a drastic decrease in their mobilty. Their medical needs are becoming more complex. In general, they need more support with daily acitivities.
For us, there is not greater privilege that acompanying them through this stage of their life. Our goal has always been to adapt to their needs as they change. The majority of our days are now spent going home to home. Helping them with everyday chores: washing dishes, sweeping, handwashing their clothing/blankets, ensuring they have and are properly taking their prescribed medication, etc.
Due to many factors (lack of water, limited mobility, inability to heat water) many of our abuelos now need assistance with bathing and basic hygiene. We recently expanded the shower area at the project. It is now more accesible for those in wheelchairs and everyone in general. It has been a great blessing, and they are truly grateful for having this basic need met.
One of our current goals for this year is to create safer homes for our abuelos. We want to do everything in our power to reduce the risk of falls and other serious injuries. Some of ways in which we are able to do that is by ensuring they are no longer using open fires in their homes. We have a wonderful mason who is able to build wood burning stoves to contain the fire for approximately $130. We rest easier knowing that their risk for burns and respirtory issues (related to the smoke) are greatly reduced.
Many homes of our abuelos have dirt floors that are very uneven. We would like to be able to provide each of them with a concrete floor to ensures a level walking area as well as a cleaner enviroment. Each floor costs approximately $150, but varies depending on the size. In addition, we would like to ensure that each one has access to lighting. Many of them do not have any electricity in their homes, and if they do it is often a single bulb. If they do have lighting, the wiring has been done by family members, and often needs checked by a profesional.
We began many of these project at the begining of the year. Since january we have been able to distrubute four new beds, install lighting in three homes, build two houses, and provide one wood-stove. We know there is still so much work to be done, but we are grateful to be able to work on these projects while simultaniously distrubuting food daily and overseeing their medical needs.
We are humbled by your support which allows us to continue to serve this beautiful population. From the bottom of our hearts we wish you a happy and healthy spring.