There’s nothing you haven’t heard about the people who live in poverty but to see with your eyes is an experience unlike any other. To have the courage and compassion to put yourself in a position where you can interact and try to get to know those who are less fortunate than you, speaks volume.
Today we visited Las Hormiguitas, an organization that is committed to support children from the grade 1 to college. Their main goal is to keep kids off the streets and from working in the markets or stores that their parents work in. We also visited Matagalpa’s local dump that was just outside the city. Before we had entered, we were informed that the teachers and volunteers of the organization worked closely with the children who lived at the dump. It was a serious day for all of us to take in, but despite us hearing how bad it was for the children, we learned that they rely on the organization to take them away from their reality. Being at the dump was eye opening because many of us saw things that made us realize how fortunate we are. Our program leader, Alex, reminded us that the main take away from this trip to the dump was not to feel sorry for the kids who live in extreme poverty but to remember their smiles and their energy. It’s the people and the connections we make with them that sticks with us.
For us glimpsers, when we saw the children, we saw them as an inspiration to change our view for our future and how we wanted to help change the world one step at a time. The highlight of the day was seeing the children laugh and play with us. We were sad to leave them but our visit there left an impact on all of us. We had a couple discussions later in the day to help us digest all the feelings and thoughts we had from being there. As leaders, we were trusted to pass out food and drinks to the community at the dump. Assisting with such a small gesture of compassion, we motivated take more actions to combat poverty in our local and global community. In order to stay as safe and focused on the kids as possible while at the dump, we couldn’t take any pictures, but we will definitely carry with us the mental images and heartfelt connections we made as we move forward in our lives.
After thoughtful reflections shared as a group about our experiences today, our leaders also rewarded us with some free time out in Matagalpa before we had dinner and nightly tutoring, so we returned to our favorite, cute little ice cream place (“Kiss Me”) with our favorite ice cream server, Jefferson. The whole group spent some time bonding together there as well as at the Internet cafe where some of us took the opportunity to send messages home and make calls to our families.
-Your PunnyPeach(Tiana Lee) & Mayela Sánchez J