There is no social security system or “safety net” for the people of Anapra/Poleo. The majority of those needing our help are older women; therefore, we call this arm of our program “Adopt an Abuela” (abuela is Spanish for grandma). Many of the abuelas are widows with little to no family and no source of income. Both the Old and New Testaments contain instructions for the people of God to care for widows and orphans. Elderly members of all communities (male and female) deserve our respect and care, and the need in Anapra/Poleo is great.
The Manos Amigas mission to the elderly includes financial assistance from donors in the US to cover winter heating needs, Christmas food baskets, and medical concerns. Nights from November to February in Anapra are often below freezing. These temperatures are difficult to manage in homes with no insulation and no central heat. Our program provides firewood and propane that the abuelas use in stoves to stay warm. Several of our current abuelas have significant medical challenges and other special needs such as diabetes, epilepsy, blindness, inability to walk. We support and help where we can.
Within Anapra/Poleo, Manos Amigas families “adopt” the abuelas. Families regularly visit these elderly neighbors, delivering firewood and food, and checking on their safety. More than anything, these families provide much needed community support and connection.