Thursday, February 04, 2010

pre school , literacy program

yesterday was the first day at the camino seguro pre school. with the pre school and the main school, camino seguro teaches just 40 % of the children who live in the dump community. the others just stay in the maze of tent / shack structures, older siblings caring for the younger siblings...even if that means 3 yr old taking care of infant, while their moms go to work. the moms and some dads work long hours amid a huge flock of vultures, graves falling off the hill from the municipal cemetary, and 1/3 of the trash in the country. it is their cycle of life. apparently, last week a dead hippo from the zoo ended up in the dump. a company did studies of the largest emissions of methane in the world. the guatemala city dump won! so the company will try to make a system to harness the methane for fuel possibly training the current workers there. 7 yrs ago they predicted the dump would close in 2 yrs....but locals predict it will be here for decades more. just 2 weeks ago a piece of land that was cleared by the dump land owner for camino seguro use was squatted by 250 huajerros. at this time they think there are 1000 people living in this relatively small area maybe 100´ x 100´. workers are still coming to be in the dump and children are growing up to work in the dump...all needing space. the school is in a quandry....they need space too. yesterday pre school started. the volunteers walked into the compound smiling, crying, frightened, delighted children from 1 yr old up. the kids ate breakfast, learning to use forks and spoons, then all brushed their teeth before going into the montesorri style classrooms. their moms have to volunteer to help at the school in order for their children to attend. some of them have begun to take literacy classes as well. somewhere between 45 and 60 will begin some sort of literacy training either beginning where their preschoolers are or trying to finish 6th grade. there are a few at the high school level....there is even a 78 yr old and an 82 yr old learning! the men have begun to show interest as well. so far 8! ela and the director of that program, gabe, are scheming to figure our a craft for the men to do in addition to the literacy program.
.....meanwhile, our sponsored teen, jose 16yrs old,spent a couple hours that morning writing a note to us in english with some of his airbrush style art. gonna have to frame it. we are hoping to set up a system to skype with the students throughout the year.


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