Homeless And Hungry In Jocotepec
By Sunny Sorensen
They are called ancianos. Some are so feeble they can no longer walk and suffer from incontinence. Others, because they have no homes, sleep in cardboard shacks on the street and in alleys. All are struggling with hunger and some would not have any food at all if it weren’t for a Registered Nurse, Gloria Solis Barzzo, and her Asilo Casa Corazon in Jocotepec. Who are there—the forgotten and helpless elderly of Jocotepec.
At age 92, ANGELA sells peanuts on the street for a few pesos with which to buy food. Her two children cannot take care of her. She lives alone, needs warm clothes, and depends on help from Casa Corazon.
[PHOTO] Ninety year old MARIA G.H.is in diapers and a wheelchair. Her three children are poverty stricken and cannot support her or buy her medications. She is pictured here with the home’s founder, Gloria Solis Barzzo.
Widower ANTONIO, wheelchair bound and incontinent. He was a ranchero singer until he became ill and unable to walk. He has no children. Casa Corazon tries to help with diapers and medical prescriptions.
At the age of 58, a blind woman, MARIA EUGENIA was found abandoned in a hypertensive and malnourished condition outside the Asilo with no documents to say who she was. Many of her teeth were missing and she still has serious gum problems. Since then, Gloria has discovered she is from Tijuana and has no family.
What’s more important, a roof or food? Prescription drugs or hot water?
How can you choose? To Gloria, the ancianos, and the elderly in hopeless street environments, it’s not about decisions. It’s about survival. It’s about having someone and a place that cares. The Mexican government does not provide care for them. Their families either can’t, won’t, or there simply are no family members at all. While these elderly depend on Casa Corazon, the asilo is dependent on compassionate people like you to help them live with some dignity. Casa Corazon takes care of 10 sick elderly women in their casas (and shacks), and provides a Saturday meal to about 30 other elderly senoras who have little or no resources. On Wednesdays and Fridays there are physical therapy activities—dancing for those who are able, massage for those who are suffering physical pain due to aging bones and arthritis.
This Valentine’s Day, please make a heartfelt pledge to support the only refuge many of these ancianos have: a home with a heart, Casa Corazon. Casa Corazon needs donations of food, clothing, medical supplies, and pesos to continue never-ending work. The cost of a weekly meal for 30 elders is $1,050 pesos or $ 4,200 pesos per month.
Most needed items: 20 generous people to pledge $200 pesos each and every month for meals for six months or one year/six plastic chairs/packs of toothpaste, tooth brushes, hand soaps, shampoo, and lotions for older dry skin, toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, mops, brooms, laundry soap and Clorox.
Food suggestions: Dry goods: beans, rice, lentils, cereal, powdered milk, salt, sugar. Canned goods: tomatoes, tomatillos, beans, Mexican salsa. Tuna. Vegetable and fruit juice. Fresh fruits, vegetables: oranges, grapefruit, bananas, mango, papaya, tomatoes, carrots, onions, cabbage, peppers, garlic, potatoes, chayote. Meat: chicken, pork, fish.