Today was a long and emotional day for many of us. We started the morning off by waking up at 6 am and bundling up in long sleeve shirts and pants to go to the dump. Extra layers were necessary for precautionary reasons. After a tasty breakfast we headed over to the dump. Before even entering the dump, trash was scattered everywhere along the side of the road. When we finally arrived we were introduced to the kids that worked there. Most of the group were especially surpised that many young children around the age of ten worked at the dump, collecting things like bottles, metals, and paper to resell to support their families. We split into smaller groups and each group asked the kids questions about themselves. We then drew pictures of their answers for better visualization. As we asked questions the reality of the kids working at the dump became more clear. Many of the kids answers were heartbreaking. Not being able to receive a proper education or even a shower made this experience heart wrenching for everyone.
Leaving was hard for everyone but having this experience was once in a lifetime. We made our way back to the hostel and all showered. Each group then presented the drawings they made from taking to the kids, and then had a self reflection of our time at the dump. Soon after we took a bus ride to an organizatoin known as excuela movil. This organization is basically a school on wheels that travels to high risk areas where kids are unable to go to school do to unfortunate family situations. Half of the group went to Ninos del fortin and the other half went to Chavaladas. Both places were filled with loving and energetic children. Children welcomed us as we entered the ninos del fortin and Chavaldas. They showed us around and were eager to explain how the escuela movil worked. Many of us played baseball with the kids and enjoyed other games. Our time there proved to be a nice balance between having a good time engaging with the children and learning about their circumstance and how some community organizations aim to help them break the cycle of poverty.
Overall, today was a once in a lifetime opportunity that allowed us a peek into what some of the world’s poorest citizens experience for a lifetime.