Casa del Abuelo
The Casa del Abuelo started with a simple act of love and compassion. As pastor Nicolas was working to plant a church in Maneadero, his wife Angelica noticed a couple of elderly women in their neighborhood that didn’t appear to have enough to eat. One day she simply invited them into her home to have lunch with her. Over the course of that lunch, she learned they didn’t have enough to eat a single meal every day and invited them back to eat with her on a daily basis.
Those women knew a couple more people who didn’t have enough to eat, and they knew a couple more. Before Angelica knew it, she had over 30 elderly eating at her home. Trying to assist them in any way she could, she began taking them to the government office to get them set up with the public pension that Mexico offers for citizens that are 70 and older. She took the first woman and introduced her as her grandmother, then came back with another woman and introduced her as her grandmother, then another. A lady at the government office asked what was going on, and Angelica explained how she was caring for these elderly people who were like grandparents to her. The government didn’t have much to offer, other than the pension, which is only $25 a month. But touched by Angelica’s outreach, they offered to let her use a room they had in the back of the government offices for her lunches.
Angelica began feeding the elderly there, and 30 quickly grew to over 200 elderly who were coming weekly. Angelica would provide lunch, share what food and resources she could collect from the community, educate them on the best nutrition for lowering blood pressure and managing diabetes, play games, lead stretches and exercising, and most importantly share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As Angelica and Nicolas got to know the elderly better, they came to realize that many who were coming not only lacked food, but had nowhere to live. They would leave the activities to go around the corner and find a tree to sleep under or a building to sleep behind. That’s when God gave them the vision to provide a place where the elderly could live together in community and care for one another.
Angelica and Nicolas gathered donations and support from a local business owner to begin making payments on a plot of land. They began bringing the elderly out to the land and telling them that God was going to use the property to provide them a home. With a little help from the government and a local ministry called Hands of Mercy, they got an outhouse and a couple of small rooms in place. The Casa del Abuelo opened with two elderly gentlemen in their 70’s moving out to live together on the land.
It didn’t take long for Nicolas and Angelica to realize that someone was going to have to move to the land and care for the elderly. Without electricity to light the path to the outhouse at night, cooking over an open flame, climbing stairs to get in and out of the rooms, there was just too much opportunity for the elderly to get hurt and have no one to help them. It wasn’t part of the original plan, but pastor Nicolas and Angelica moved with their son from their home that had electricity, running water, and plumbing to the property to care for the elderly.
Since that time, Casa del Abuelo has continued to grow. Nicolas and Angelica currently care full time for between 15 and 20 abuelos with the help of their sons, Angel and Jonatan, and their niece Iliana. Construction continues with the vision of eventually housing up to 40 abuelos.