The Bottom of the Pile
GUATEMALA - In part six of KOMU 8's Culture That Crawls, KOMU 8's Alex Rozier looks at the lives of those unable to walk or be a functioning member of society and how mobility is the most precious gift they can receive.
For so many it’s all they’ve ever know.
“They live at the very bottom of the world’s pile of human misery,” PET Project Founder Mel West said.
Never once given a chance. In Guatemala, disabilities are looked on as a curse and families forget about those with special needs.
“I’ve had lots of the moms tell me that their mother-in-law tells them just kill it, kill it. It’s just going to ruin your life,” Therapist Amy DeYoung said.
Not everyone agrees.
“They have the same rights to have access to health, to education, to work,” CBM International Representative Gonna Rota said,
“There’s not really words for it to tell you the truth. It’s hard to put yourself in their place,” PET Volunteer Terry Furstenau said.
But a can bring a grown man to tears.
“Some people say you’re not supposed to get that attached while you’re here. But I maintain if I can walk out of that orphanage or walkout of here without a tear in my eye there’s something wrong with me, it’s time I should leave,” Wheelchair Specialist Dick Rutgers said. “You let it break your heart, you shed a few tears then you get back to work and you do something about it.”
For so many in Guatemala, they are doing something about it.They call it a gift of mobility and when you’re 8 years old and you haven’t walked a day in your life, it’s a big deal.
“Thank you for giving me my wheelchair,” 8 year old Jose said.
From Mid-Missouri to Central America their mission is simple. A gift and a service to strangers in need.