Factory Builds Wheelchairs for Disabled Guatemalans

9 years 2 months 1 week ago Wednesday, December 15 2010 Dec 15, 2010 Wednesday, December 15, 2010 12:45:25 PM CST December 15, 2010 in News
ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA - Stuck in a corner. On the end of a quiet Guatemalan street. At the beginning of a very sheltered life. At 22 years old Maria Christina Mendoza doesn't get to see the world. At 22 years old her mother says Maria's never been beyond the sidewalk outside her own home. In Central America disabilities are looked on as a curse. It's a place where families forget about those with special needs. And often the need is for mobility.

"There are thousands and thousands of children that need is for mobility, it's tragic, but true," said Mark Richard, Director of Hope Haven Guatemala.

Richard runs a factory in Antigua, Guatemala where they make pediatric wheelchairs in four different sizes. People at this factory work through the day knowing what they do can only help.

"There's satisfaction knowing it's useful for other people," Gustavo Vasquez said.

Each employee plays a different role. All the way up to the point when they give the chairs away. That feeling, Omar Cruz says, is like none other.

"The parents, like the mothers, say god bless you, thank you very much for helping my kid, and sometimes I don't know what to say," Cruz said. "Sometimes it's almost made me cry."

But what makes this wheelchair factory even more special is that all the workers are in wheelchairs, too.

"My mother says no you don't have your legs, but you have your brain, and your arms, so come on, you can do it," Cruz said.

Hope Haven International runs the wheelchair factory.  Two years ago it began producing wheelchairs in Guatemala. Turns out, that was just the start.

"Right now we're looking at a facility in the neighborhood of 10-15,000 square feet that would provide a place of employment and an opportunity to produce the wheelchairs," said David Vanningen, Chief Executive Officer of Hope Haven International said. "We believe very firmly that god has given us all gifts and talents and that every person is made in his image."

Vanningen said it doesn't take a whole lot to reach out to your neighbor with a helping hand, but it takes more than that to embrace these people as your friend. And for people like Maria Christina Mendoza, she doesn't have friends. Her neighbors she may never know. But with some help from a few strangers, maybe she too can find a way.

 

 

More News

Grid
List
LINN - A lot of the times it's hard to know the affect you'll have on someone until after it's... More >>
3 hours ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 7:08:00 PM CST February 23, 2020 in Sports
BOONVILLE — Community members in Boonville gathered Sunday in support of moving the Boonslick Regional Library (BRL) Cooper County Branch... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 6:15:00 PM CST February 23, 2020 in News
AP — State attorneys general are finding a national settlement over the toll of opioids to be elusive, as some... More >>
11 hours ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 11:17:32 AM CST February 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Dozens of boy scouts and girl scouts showed up for water safety event at Hickman High School Sunday... More >>
11 hours ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 10:34:00 AM CST February 23, 2020 in News
SEDALIA — A 49-year-old man was taken to the University of Missouri hospital via air ambulance after sustaining a gunshot... More >>
13 hours ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 9:25:40 AM CST February 23, 2020 in News
FULTON - Police arrested a 44 year old Fulton man after he attempted to unlawfully enter a home twice, assaulted... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 6:10:00 AM CST February 23, 2020 in News
SEDALIA- Police officers in Sedalia responded to a report of a man lying in the roadway near the 700 block... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 11:01:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Dozens of MU students gathered to raise money for cancer research Saturday. Mizzou's Relay for Life raised... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 6:41:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Police arrested three people after a Saturday afternoon robbery led to a car chase, according to a... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 5:46:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri voters legalized medical marijuana in 2018, but some lawmakers are worried about what that could... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:53:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri may have shed its unwanted image as the meth lab capital of the U.S.,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:21:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia is getting a break from winter weather this weekend and many residents are taking advantage of it.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:21:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
REEDS SPRING, Mo. – Students in the Reeds Spring School District will begin a four-day school week next school... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:11:55 PM CST February 22, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA – Several First Ward neighborhood associations hosted a town hall forum Saturday with city council candidates to discuss housing,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:07:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
Black LGBTQ youth are less likely to receive mental health... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 3:51:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA — In an effort to contain the novel coronavirus, the Chinese government has canceled a number of exams this... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 2:56:57 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA— A Columbia chiropractic office hosted a seminar to educate and empower women Saturday afternoon. The event was part of... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 2:13:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
MOBERLY - Moberly police officers responded to a domestic assault at 1028 Sinnock Ave., at 2:48 a.m. Friday, February 21,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 10:45:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 48°
11pm 48°
12am 48°
1am 47°
2am 45°