There are a bunch of chickens running around in front of Maria Tigasi´s house, trying to enter if they can get away with it. However, none of them belong to Maria. They all belong to her brother, who owns the house that they live in. Because their uncle is the one who owns their one room house, they don´t have to pay rent. But that means that their only affordable option is to live in a home that has one room, no kitchen or bathroom, and six people.
Maria´s (42) daughter Blanca (22) is already an adult, though she lives with them still. She is able to help translate for Maria, who as a native speaks her native language, when her Spanish is not sufficient. Blanca also has a son, Matías (6 months), who lives with them as well. There are three younger children, Sonia (14), Tania (12), and Jordan (7). All of these six people live in one room, where they have only one bed, a stove, and some shelves. They have to share a bathroom outside the house with the other families. They have one light in the whole room.
Maria´s work is the only thing paying the bill for their water and electricity, as well as the baby, who Blanca cannot support on her own because she doesn´t have a job. Maria works in the market place, peeling beans and husking corn so that the kernels can be sold for a higher price. This earns her about $140 per month. Blanca used to work as a housekeeper, but when she had the baby she had to stop working and has still not been able to return to work yet. She is still trying to finish her studies and obtain a high school degree, though she´s far behind in her studies due to the baby and the fact that she had to work for several of her school years.
They receive no help from Maria´s husband. He does not live with them. He has problems with alcoholism and is seldom around, though the daughters say that they do see him occasionally. He does work, but because he drinks so much he never has any money; it all gets used for alcohol. The father of Blanca´s child does not help them, either. Not having the help of the father or the husband has been a very difficult thing for them to deal with. It´s hard to stand on your own.
However, they don´t have to stand on their own. They can lean on Jesus when they need. And Pan de Vida will be there to help them as much as we are able. Pan de Vida has helped them with food, shoes, school supplies, and the Word of God. And this past weekend, thanks to the donation of one of our volunteers, they received a desk that the children can do schoolwork on.
If you would like to donate to help families like Maria´s, you can donate here. If you are interested in bringing a group down to do a Hit Squad or a special program, contact us here. Please pray for this family.