Maria Margarita Monroy was a single woman surviving on her own. She ran a tienda (Guatemalan word for convenience store) that her and her sister, Maria Olivia started years ago. She survived by selling snacks, firecrackers, cold soda, and anything else you can think of!
Maria was always a joy to spend time with yet, as we continued to build a relationship with her, our hearts would break when we would hear more of her story. She often told us, “We have nobody: no siblings, children, parents, or other relatives.” Family is a big deal in Guatemala and having no family as a Guatemalan is a depressing thought. When we have teams, we would try to take them over to the tienda to see Maria and spend a little time, buy a couple snacks, and say a prayer with her. She absolutely LOVED company.
Maria Olivia (Maria Margarita’s older sister) sadly passed away June 15, 2014 at 92 years old. Maria Olivia’s health had been declining. Her most cumbersome issue was swelling in her legs which really affected her ability to walk and stand for long periods of time. The doctors finally found a medicine that helped with the swelling. Not too long after, however, she had been bedridden and depressed. She then fell and was admitted to the hospital because she injured her leg. She was approved for surgery and they operated on her. She came out of surgery alert and responding well to the treatment. A few days later she passed away. The doctors do not have an explanation as to why since she was responding well to the surgery and she didn’t seem to be having any other medical issues. An autopsy was not performed because of her age.
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