Debora at Mayan Families
As many of you know I am a big fan and big supporter of Mayan Families, a wonderful NGO located in Panajachel, Guatemala. I don't usually talk about them all that much (I feel people need to find their own organizations to work with) but I thought this was a wonderful story.
We at Mayan Families are always surprised and amazed by some of the stories we hear every day. Debora's is one of those stories that make us reflect on our own lives and how we, sometimes, make a big deal of minor problems.
Debora is 9 years old. She lives in Panajachel with her mother, father and five siblings. She had a problem at birth and the doctor told the family that they had to make a choice to either have Debora's head grow to a very large proportions or to cut her spine and she would have a normal size head but not be able to walk. With this agonizing decision, the family decided that their daughter would have a more normal life if they cut their spinal chord.
Debora is only a child, but she is doing the best she can to live a normal life. Luckily for her, she has a very supportive family and her mother Ramona dedicates almost all of her time to take care of her. When she was only four, her mother took her to the pool at a hotel in Panajachel and Debora loved every minute of her time there, so her mother decided, despite her scarce financial resources, to enroll her in the swimming classes and soon the girl was competing. Debora's eyes shine when she speaks about swimming. She has been to several competitions some of them in other cities; she has won 9 medals and she told us with pride that she even competed with kids without any disability and won.
Her mother told us that Debora loves to be outside; she likes to see people on the street, go to the supermarket, sit near the lake and watch other kids play. Mayan Families sponsored her to go to school, at first, we had to encourage the school to accept Debora but then they saw how much Debora loves to go to school and she was accepted. Her favorite thing is to read and write, she already wrote some poems but she is too shy to show them to us. When asked about what makes her sad, she told us that is the fact that she doesn't have many friends, she said that her classmates don't like to play with her because she cannot walk, but she loves her siblings and she has 2 good friends that play with her all the time.
Life in a wheelchair is not easy, especially when the financial resources are very limited, but Debora is an example to be followed. She is persistent and according to her mother, she always gets what she wants. She is determined to live a joyful life and to become a swimming teacher and we at Mayan Families, together with our donors, are glad to be helping her to have a good education and follow her dreams. Debora touched our hearts and we hope she touches yours too!
Labels: Mayan families