Founded in 1983, El Pajarito Azul is a center for assistance to children and young adults with physical and mental disabilities located in Managua, Nicaragua. The patients at this facility were either abandoned or their families could not take care of them due to lack of resources. Patients live year-round in the facility.
Pajarito Azul is home to 92 disabled children and adults. Many of the children are completely dependent on their therapists round the clock care for feeding, bathing and physical therapy. The rigid positions their bodies are locked into cause sweat accumulation due to the extreme heat. Crevices such as under their armpits get dirt trapped in them. The older patients do not enjoy being bathed since they are sensitive to smells, textures and in some cases, being touched by others. Another trait of the adults is that they do not like to share. It is a side effect of their mental disorders. Therefore, they do not like to share their soap or see the therapists using it on other patients. The majority of the patients are prone to temper tantrums and roll around on the ground which exacerbates the problem of keeping their bodies clean.
Accessibility to soap is not consistent so it is frequently rationed. The donation from Rise Against Hunger was a blessing. Each patient was assigned their own bar of soap which eliminated issues with sharing. Each patient now washes their hands, some with assistance from their aides, before and after each meal. As you can see, soap is critical to the well-being of these patients.