The elderly in Santa Cruz are those in the greatest desperation. Casa Milagro supports 25 widows who are over the age of 60 and 3 very old couples. Also, since hurricane Agatha in 2009, we have added 10 more elderly widows to the program in the next village of Jaibalito.
Monthly, we have a small celebration, which we prepare with the help of young people/children (e.g. making cakes, decorations, singing and performing). Afterward, we give much-needed foods, like beans, rice, and corn to the seniors. Some of these seniors are especially needy because they don’t receive their retirement of 400Q from the government. Casa Milagro provides roughly 100 to 150Q to these widows in place of the lacking funds.
To give them more independence, we also support all people over 65 in Santa Cruz and neighboring villages with the paperwork necessary for the governmental retirement plan, which guarantees every person over 65 years with 400 quetzals ($50) monthly.
On special occasions, like Christmas, Easter and Mothers Day, the seniors receive additional presents, e.g. items for the household and for personal hygiene.
Most elderly women are living in poverty and sometimes in unacceptable circumstances. In these situations, we try to get them the most needed items such as beds, mattresses, tables, and chairs.
We would like to be able to support more widows through the building of new homes (3 x 4 meters for the price of 1,800 euro or $2,350). We have already helped renovate many other homes, with a new roof, plastering, cement floor, new doors, and windows (for the price of each of about 1,000 euro or $1,400 ). In return, these wonderful women help us produce a new kind of building block, called Ecoladrillo which is made by collecting used plastic bottles and filling them with small pieces of trash (see environment).