Today was full of emotional roller coasters. We woke up at 6:30 and had an amazing breakfast. After a few hours on the bus we finally arrived at Niños Con Una Esperanza in Santiago where we were given an opportunity to speak to the founders of this amazing organization, Pablo and Elizabet. They spoke to us about the startup of their organization and how impacted their community has been since. We watched a documentary on the hardships of having to shuffle through dumpsters in order to survive. Many children gave their testimony on witnessing the tragic events that occurred in this dumpster. Many of our glimpsers were shocked and as a response had many questions for Elizabet. She was kind enough to give us more insight on what it is like to live in such conditions. After having an opportunity to have our questions answered we were given a tour around the foundation. We were able to interact and connect with the children who attend their program and even have lunch with them.
Our day was brightened by the laughs and smiles of these young, carefree, and happy children regardless of what they have experienced in the past and even the present. Ramon, a 22 year-old man, gave us a tour to the dumpster where the trash is disposed of and people rummage through in order to find food and things to resell. Hearing from someone who experienced working in a dumpster first-hand was difficult to do but definitely changed the way we viewed our lives and the lives of the dumpster divers. Thanking both the founders of such a rewarding organization and someone who previously was a dumpster diver brought great satisfaction to us.
Taking things for granted is something that unfortunately many of us do but this experience has made us realize that we are beyond blessed to life our lives the way we do. Many of our glimpsers were severely impacted by the image of seeing people look though garbage for a living. Being LDD for such an emotional experience was a privilege due to being able to stay strong and support those who needed a compassionate and courageous leader. We are proud of how much closer our group became after a day full of both laughter and cries.