Today was an eye-opening and challenging day for everyone. We were given the opportunity to step out of our comfort zone. After having yet another delicious breakfast at Nativa, we hopped on our bus and went to Parque Maldonado to work with Manitos Trabajadoras. The government does not fund this family project, but instead they are funded by donations from small businesses. Every Saturday they provide the kids lunch.

This project started about nine years ago when Fabricio Espin started volunteering for a program helping children who work on the street to make ends meet. Fabricio passed this project down to his two sons, Flor and Javier. Their main goal is to allow the children to still be a kid, their long term goal is to find a location instead of a park to find a place for the kids and their families to have access to computers and additional space for activities #dreambig. We divided into five groups and each group shadowed two different kids. They work as vendors on the streets doing various things. We had to sell chocolates, lollipops, and a chance to get your shoes shined. The children selling lollipops had to walk around saying to locals, “chupete veinticinco” (lollipops, 25 cents). Walking around trying to sell these various things to locals is a reality check because it made us realizes how great we have it in the U.S. since we don’t have to work at such a young age. This made us Glimpsers feel lots of different emotions. Everyone digested this differently. We think the main emotion was a happy one because everyone is more aware of this problem and is very motivated to help.

After shadowing for 1 ½ hours we gathered back at Parque Maldanado to play games. We split into two different groups and played various games such as Wah!, Ninja, Duck Duck Goose, and Ring Around the Rosie. The other group taught the kids how to do the Cha Cha Slide, which was quite the show #holdthatpose. Through these games and dances we all created such amazing bonds with these kids. Once we got tired we were served an amazing lunch and got to eat, sit, and talk with the kids in the park. After lunch we got to ask Javier, one of the brothers in charge of this project, questions about what he is doing for each and every one of these kids. After leaving Parque Maldanado we divided into our three small groups with our GG leader and reflected on what we had just done.

After meeting in our small groups, we opened the conversation up to the full group. We mainly discussed how we felt working with the kids. Working for 1 ½ hours and making only $1.50 made us realize how privileged we are. After our group discussion, we had our CAP (Community Action Project) introduction. Hearing about CAP made the group very excited to start up and physically do something that will change kids’ lives and put a smile on their faces. We will be going to a rural school to help them improve their buildings and surroundings #readytohelp #makingmoves.

Sophia Orsi- Highland Park High School

Kyra Turner- Lindblom Math and Science Academy