Guatemala

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Meet Ivelia! At two years old, Ivelia is the second born in her family of five in Guatemala. She enjoys playing with her siblings and often takes care of her youngest brother. Her mother cares for the home and the children while her father works as a day laborer. Recently, Ivelia has begun to become unresponsive to sounds. “She is having issues forming words, and her mother worries that if it continues without some intervention she will not learn how to speak,” our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), tells us. “She needs testing and speech therapy now to prevent permanent damage to her ability to communicate with others.” The speech therapy that Ivelia needs costs $386, more than the family can afford while meeting their basic needs. Ivelia will be provided with a case manager to provide her speech therapy, transportation to and from the centre, and the medication to go along with the therapy. “This therapy will provide Ivelia tools to communicate with her family and siblings, as well as the necessary testing to determine if she is having difficulties due to hearing loss, brain damage, or another complication that may be preventing her from developing her speech,” explains WK. “If hearing loss is detected, it will allow us to take the next steps in providing her with additional care.” Ivelia’s mother is dedicated to ensuring her daughter develops to her potential, but does not have the financial means to do so. “Help me help my child,” she shares.

$386raised
Fully funded

Elvin is a little boy from Guatemala who lives with his parents and his older brother. “His favorite thing to do is to run outside—he’s always racing his older brother,” shares our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). Elvin also enjoys eating eggs and beans, playing with his soccer ball, and watching television at the neighbor’s house. Though he turns four next month, Elvin’s vocabulary is limited to only four words: mama, papa, huevo (egg), and agua (water). His developmental disorder frustrates him and makes it difficult for him to communicate with people outside of his immediate family. “He seems to have normal hearing abilities and can understand what others say to him,” shares WK. “He often gets upset when he can’t express himself, or ask for something he needs.” Elvin’s mother worries that he will not be able to go to school and learn as a result of his disability. This could keep her from finding a job to help with the family’s living expenses. “Elvin’s father works as a day laborer, taking odd jobs and often working in places far away from the community where his family lives,” WK explains. His mother takes care of her children, cleans the house, and cooks meals for the family. The family looks forward to purchasing a plot of land to grow vegetables, but they cannot yet afford one. For $386, Elvin will receive speech therapy to help him gain communication skills and independence. He will then be able to enroll in school, thereby giving him a greater chance of being successful later in life. “My dream is that he learns to talk well, that he can study,” says Elvin’s mother, “I hope one day that he can come out ahead and be independent, may God bless him.”

$386raised
Fully funded

Eight-year old Lisbet from Guatemala was one of the first Watsi patients to receive support back in 2012, which helped to get her medication and regular visits with the care team at our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq (WK), to treat thyroid disease. As a result, her condition has been managed successfully and she no longer experiences symptoms. However, Lisbet is now in need of treatment for a developmental delay. "Lisbet has struggled with developmental delay for a while--she didn’t learn to walk alone until she was about four. Now she has begun school, though, her family is more concerned and wants her to seek treatment since her developmental delay has caused her to have issues in class," WK explains. Lisbet is having difficulty learning words and and letters in school. It’s difficult for her to keep up with the other kids, even though she’s two years older than most of them. Her mother is worried she’ll have to repeat the first grade again. To avoid that, Lisbet’s family is seeking speech therapy for Lisbet which costs $386. The treatment costs will also cover the transportation to and from therapy. Lisbet will be able to develop the communication skills she needs to pass the first grade and continue to learn how to articulate herself to friends and family. Lisbet already gets along well with her classmates and is capable of playing along in games and group activities. Her parents share, “Our dream is that Lisbet can finish elementary school.”

$386raised
Fully funded

"I am excited for my little girl to learn how to walk," Rachel's mother shares. "That is my dream." 17-month-old Rachel has been coming to our clinic since she was just two months old. She had to have surgery when she was just a newborn for a problem with her pancreas, but has not had any complications since then. Although she has been growing normally, her motor development has been slow. She still cannot sit on her own, cannot crawl, or walk - developmental milestones that children normally reach by age one. Rachel is the second daughter in her family. Her family lives in Guatemala and has few resources - her mother works every day to cook, clean, and take care of her children. She has been unable to get a job because of Rachel's inability to move on her own, and has to carry her around all day on her back in order to be able to cook, clean, and do errands. Her father does not have a steady income and, instead, works odd jobs as a driver and an assistant to a bricklayer. Rachel's family often has trouble affording basics such as food and wood to boil water, so sending their daughter to physical therapy is a luxury they cannot afford. Treatment will give Rachel weekly physical therapy sessions, as well as transportation for her and her mother to the sessions. She will get individualized care that will develop her motor skills, helping her learn how to sit, crawl, and walk on her own. This will allow both Rachel and her mother to be more independent, making it possible for Rachel to live a healthy life, and for her mother to be able to work and help out her family economically.

$386raised
Fully funded

19-month-old Maria lives with her five-year-old brother and mother in a rented room in Guatemala. Maria's mother used to work selling tea in the market, but due to Maria's special needs, she has had to quit and is dependent on her in-laws for money and for the small room in which they live. Maria's mother says that Maria's favorite things are to listen to classical music and to watch the world around her. Maria previously received treatment for acute malnutrition thanks to Watsi donors. She has recovered well, and is nearing a normal weight and height for her age. Now that she has grown bigger and stronger, and her life is no longer in danger, she is in need of physical and speech therapy to catch up on developmental milestones that she has missed out on because of poor nutrition and because of microcephalus that she was born with. Microcephalus is a condition in which a baby's head is significantly smaller than expected, often due to abnormal brain development. Despite being over a year and a half old, she cannot sit up on her own - a developmental milestone that most healthy children reach by six months of age. She has not begun to speak yet, either, and is in need of special therapy to help her develop mentally and gain motor skills. This treatment, which costs $452, will give Maria intensive speech and physical therapy for six months, helping her to catch up with developmental milestones, and helping her become more independent. This treatment will help Maria develop the strength to sit up on her own, turn over, and crawl, and help her learn to communicate.

$452raised
Fully funded