How to Help Poor Children Escape Guatemala City’s Dump
It’s quite paradoxical how Guatemala’s mountainous landscape can be referred to as beautiful and fascinating, while Guatemalan children live under the scope of misery and poverty. This huge contrast has intensified over the years, and unfortunately, the youngsters are the ones who pay for the inequality in this impoverished country.
Guatemala City’s dump is home to over 7,000 individuals: people who wake up every morning to the uncertainty of whether they’ll have enough food to feed their hunger that day; people whose lives are jeopardized by the miserable and risky conditions that surround them.
The communities that reside in the dump belong to a wide range of ages, from infants, carried by adolescent mothers, to older generations, coping with the same dreadful conditions for prolonged periods of time. This scenario has trapped a number of Guatemalans for many decades.
My experience visiting the city dump was rough, but life-changing. I was baffled by what I saw. My first realization was the way thousands of piles of garbage were tossed in such a manner that it almost looked intentional, as if someone decorated the area to reaffirm Guatemala’s current situation.
Guatemala City’s dump is home to over 7,000 individuals: people who wake up every morning to the uncertainty of whether they’ll have enough food to feed their hunger that day.
Then I noticed the individuals whose faces were heartbreaking. All of them looked malnourished, their bones were as visible as their sun-dried skin. One young girl quickly caught my attention. She was roughly 14-years-old, and despite her thinness, her gaze was impressive.
The way she looked at her premature infant was admirable. Although she was young, she acted like a mature mother whose priority was to take care of her offspring as they dealt with the acrid wind blowing around.
It was then that I realized how important it was that people help children living in this area get out of their misery. One way to do so is through Libre Infancia, a nonprofit organization operating in the city dump that helps these children free themselves from their everyday struggles.
Moreover, there are other NGOs working throughout the country to improve the physical and intellectual development of the children who belong to the marginal and underdeveloped sectors of the Guatemalan population. Infancia Con Futuro, Funsepa and Anini all work to promote the well-being of these youngsters, with a special emphasis on education and health.
Do you have an idea for an initiative that might help this developing country progress? I invite everyone interested to come visit and help.
What You Can Do to Help Poor Children Escape Guatemala City’s Dump photo credits: Isabella R.
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