This family might qualify as perhaps the poorest family we’ve met. The father was a “helper” on a bus, but fell off and was run over. He did not receive any compensation for the accident, and has endured 8 operations. He can’t walk at all, and due to nerve damage, he can’t speak, either. They have 5 children and no source of income.
The father can’t work and the 16 yr-old son can’t find any jobs to do on a steady basis. So the mother buys firewood in bulk, delivered to her shack. Then she and her son chop it in smaller pieces and re-bundle the wood in smaller bundles for resell to the villagers. After working hard all day, she only makes about $2. We visited recently to drop off some rice, protein milk and beans and it was so sad to see that they have no other food than simple tortillas, with no meat, no vegetables, no sauce… no money for even a little salt. The only corn they have is what they scavenge from the fields after harvest… the tiny little cobs that the owner didn’t think were worth harvesting.
Sadly, the daughter got pregant, and her baby was stillborn. But the ordeal was made more horrible by the fact that the hospital didn’t want to admit her, and, then the doctors there didn’t do anything the first two days. The baby had been dead six days before the hospital took any action. Greg wore his suit and went to see the doctors. With our intervention she did get care, but the situation was of course still sad.
I took this photo the day we brought the family back from the hospital, so they look a little solemn, but there isn’t much to smile about in their life anyway.