July 21, 2020.  As posted on Wells of Hope Facebook page by Ted and Miriam van der Zalm.  To witness the physical, daily suffering of others while delivering food to families living in the rural areas of the mountains of Santa Maria Jalapa forces one to reflect on the comforts of ones own life and ask “why” while others endure hardships that need to be seen in order to be believed.

Juan has been bedridden due to health complications. He lives with his aging sister. When we arrived, he was laying on his bed made of stone and boards. The pants that his body once filled, would fall off his skinny frame if he tried to stand up. He could not tell us when he last ate something of substance. It seemed that he was just laying there, allowing the natural passing of time to dictate his destiny.

Christina fell while negotiating the steep rocky mountain slopes as she carried water to her humble dwelling made of cornstalks tied together. She broke her femur and has never recovered. She uses a walker to help her have minimal mobility on the uneven, rocky terrain. She has no means of acquiring food for herself.


Sofia has Parkinson’s for the past three years making it difficult to impossible to fend for herself. She was slowly starving to death before we began to get food aid to her.

Luisa was abandoned at the hospital by her mother at birth. She was born with Spina Bifida. She had several surgeries as a baby to no avail. She was sent to an orphanage till the age of three when she was adopted by a local family. Enduring abuses for ten years, Luisa was removed from the toxic environment and sent to live in another orphanage for a further 20 years. At the age of 33 she was determined to become independent. She was given a one room hovel to live in with no bed or means of cooking food.  When we went to visit her, she had been suffering from parasites for the past two weeks. Her soiled clothing lay piled in a corner covered in a thick layer of flies. The diarrhea was so severe that she could not leave to do her wash and had no more cloths to wear. We have since cleaned her laundry, been able to get her hydrated and a good food supply. Her wish list is for a bed, a single element hotplate and a laptop so that she can take online university courses to continue her studies in criminology.


These are just a few of the thousands of people that Wells of Hope has been able to reach out to daily due the generous support of our partners. Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we do all that we can to respond to the needs of our sisters and brothers during these difficult times.  Thank you to Maritza Munguia for the photos and for the exemplary commitment and dedication demonstrated by both her and her sister Sadie to this food initiative.