Eva is the matriarch of a large family of nineteen people. She has three daughters, two sons, eleven grandchildren, her husband and her elderly mother. Eighteen of them all live together in a small block house with an added room made of sheets of tin. Her husband is older and has been sick and so he is unable to work very often at his regular job. One of Eva’s two sons was laid off from his usual job during the pandemic and since then has found only occasional work as a day laborer. The daughters do not receive support from the fathers of their children and have been unable to find consistent work themselves. Their combined income of only about $170 is, of course, much too meager to sustain them all.
Thus it falls to Eva’s other son to attempt to help feed and clothe this large clan. He works as a full-time teacher on the comarca (indigenous reservation) but he is paid less wages than a permanent teacher would be paid. Obviously his income cannot even begin to meet this family’s needs. He has no children of his own, but he sees three generations of his family struggling to survive and so he brought this situation to our attention.
Buenos Vecinos de Boquete exists to help people like this, who are unable to meet their basic food needs. We have provided emergency food support on many occasions and have been successful in helping families through hard times. We will help them with food support until the working age adults in the family can find enough income to become self-sustaining. When we brought Eva her first food delivery of non-perishable food she smiled with a look of genuine relief and said, “Now there will be enough food to feed all of the children.”
Buenos Vecinos exists to help families like these. Their dedication to one another and their perseverance in the face of these poor living conditions inspire us to help them, and we hope they also inspire you.