Happy 4th of July! Hope you all saw fireworks and ate good food!

Today we started off our day by waking everyone up at 7am and knocked on their doors again at 7:30am to make sure they were awake. We ate breakfast at 8am which consisted of something new: pancakes! Everyone enjoyed having pancakes and wished they had more. After breakfast we read about the organization we visited. Las Hormiguitas is an organization that helps children ages 8-15 get homework help and school. They select students that are working and are currently getting an education. They have different rooms at their location such as a library for the kids to read and a kitchen area to bake bread with the kids.

Las Hormiguitas also has a mobile school, it does not replace receiving an education from a school but enhances the children’s ability in learning by playing games with them. They usually take the mobile school to the Dump on Tuesdays to play with the kids that live in the area of the Dump. There is a community there, as people sort through the trash to find items to recycle or sell to make a living. In some cases, the children work to sort garbage and do not attend school. Since today was Tuesday we went to the Dump to play educational games with the kids. On our way to the Dump we had to be silent to think about how the lack of education affects the children’s future that live in the Dump area. As we arrived at the Dump we saw small houses that had an outside, man made stove out of carbon. We also saw piles of trash and a few people digging through them. The mobile school arrived before us, and the volunteers from Las Hormiguitas were already playing with some kids. We noticed that the kids were happy to have us there to play with them. We were all playing with the kids, and we saw that they were learning through play. We only stayed there for about an hour and we finished by giving the kids snacks for them to eat. We realized that although the kids lived in unsanitary conditions they still had smiles on their faces.

We headed back to the hostel and had a mandatory shower. After everyone showered we had lunch which was white rice and breaded fried chicken. Afterwards we had a reflection about our experience at the Dump. Everyone talked and those who had younger family members wanted to make sure that they grew up open minded and willing to help others. Everyone started to appreciate small things such as education, family, and the opportunities that we have in the U.S. Then we prepped for English tutoring and the others rested. Afterwards we had a little incident with a gecko in someone’s room, and solved it by releasing into the wild. Then we bonded some more by playing a game to get to know each other some more.

For dinner we ate hamburgers and fries with coke. We all enjoyed our American dinner and prepared to leave for English tutoring. Most of us taught a Fourth of July lesson and creating vocabulary words that related to this holiday. After tutoring we stopped by La Colonia, a supermarket, to purchase more snacks. We ended our day with our nighty meeting, and reflected more on our day.

“From what I saw today I know life is hard but if everything was easy I would have everything I want.”- Charles Phillips

PS. Sorry for the lack of pictures, the uploads keep failing! There will be extra tomorrow!