For 10 years, Alberto Chiré, 42, a member of the Ngöbe-Buglé ethnic group indigenous to Panama, worked as a jardinero (gardener) for a ritzy B&B catering to foreigners in Boquete, Panama. On November 7, 2012, he fell from a tree and was paralyzed from the chest down. Now he cannot control his bladder and must wear diapers. His feet are swollen and purplish, and he needs to see a doctor frequently, which entails being carried in a hammock down a nearly impassable 45- to 60-degree mud-and-rock trail to the main road.
Alberto, his wife Dioselinda, and their nine children live in a leaky hovel made of wood scraps, corrugated sheet metal, and plastic. The floor is a combination of wood, cement, and dirt. They have no electricity or indoor plumbing and must cook over a wood fire. Washing is done by hand. Showers are taken by means of a hose attached to a nearby irrigation system. A ramshackle outhouse serves up to 60 members of Alberto's extended family.
His Canadian former employers, though initially helpful, no longer provide any support, and Alberto's government pension of approximately $140/month has still not arrived. His entire family is surviving on $30/month of basic staples from Buenos Vecinos de Boquete, subsistence farming, and the meager assistance of his poverty-stricken extended family. The children are missing school because the family cannot afford the $1/day per child it costs to ride the bus.
Can you afford to make a small donation? Any amount will go a long way toward easing the suffering of Alberto and his family. Your gift will be personally delivered to them in cash. Visit http://www.gofundme.com/Alberto to make a donation.