This is a photo of Oscar Acosta Salgado and most of his family. Oscar and his wife have 6 children. Their oldest daughter no longer lives with them and at 16 has a baby of her own. Their oldest son lives half time or more where he works.
Oscar had open heart surgery one year ago in May. He had a valve replacement, thanks to the generosity of Dr. Catherine Taylor Foster. She bought the valve for him. The hospital kept telling him to come back later, come back later until finally he was about to die. His legs were swollen, he couldn't breathe and he was in heart failure. The valve had been purchased one year prior and they still and not put it in. I finally threatened to call human rights and miraculously after such a long wait, the surgery was performed within a few days.
Oscar has some trouble working now. He works when he can, but there are days, when he just can't. He has a job and works when he feels good enough to do so. Oscar is not lazy. I can hear his heart valve clicking from across the room. He says sometimes when he rides the bus people stare at him or they look to see if they can find where the clicking noise is coming from.
When Oscar could work full time, he built his family a house, but rains came and washed out the road in front of his house, no fault of his. Then SOPTRAVI the Honduran version of National Road Works came and cut out in front of his house to build the new road. They took away about 10 feet of his front yard.
Then rains came again and washed out the poorly constructed road again, so they cut out another 10 feet of the hill in front of Oscar's house and took more of his front yard. Having lost 20 feet of his front yard, his home now hangs precariously in the air. The entire side of house where the cement covered the adobe wall has split, cracked and fallen off, leaving the adobe exposed to the elements. The front of the house is now cracking.
SOPTRAVI were more than happy to build stone retaining walls for all the "rich people" up and down the road, those with government connections or those who could afford to hire attorneys, but Oscar and his family were left with no retaining wall, therefore their home started cracking and crumbling as their front year started sliding down the hill with each heavy rain.
As you can see, they can barely pass in front of their home now. They have more land behind this home so they have put their faith in action and cleared that land and flattened it for a new home, but Oscar and his family do not have enough money to buy that new home.
You can see from the photo that it is just a matter of time before Oscar's house washes down the hill. Oscar has terraced and placed rock retaining walls, top left under the edge of the house, but he and his family really need to move.
Oscar makes an average of 4,400 lempira a month. His son gives him another 1,200 lempira per month. He spends 1,750 lempira ($92.15) a month just on medicine to keep this 40 year old father of 6 alive. This means that his family lives on $110 a month that is left over after the medicine is purchased. I help them with food and clothing when I can and I give his son and he odd jobs when I can, but they need a miracle. Last year for part of the year his medicine was paid for by a donor, but this year... it has been nip and tuck for this family.
This was just part of my day today... but all in all it was a great birthday... I pray that someone will donate the $650 for Oscar's new home. That would be the best birthday gift of all!
Over the next few days I will share more families and their needs.