They toddle in and wait in line for a hug and a kiss from Jessy, the directora. The come with snotty noses and carrying bags of coca cola, which is quickly snatched away and a bottle of milk put in its place. These are the babies of AFE, who play quietly and sweetly, until snacks emerge; then searching eyes and outstretched hands wait patiently. Rarely is a tear shed, never a fuss made; they are content in their brightly painted room, with their brothers and sisters, and the kind women who take care of their every need. These are the future students of AFE.
If they were not here, in the comfortable cribs of AFE’s nursery, they would be stored in cardboard boxes in the garbage dumps or cared for by nine-year olds in garbage-strewn shacks.
Recently, three new charges joined the ranks in the Guaderia, making the total number of babies cared for at AFE nine. Jose Dario, Dulce Maria, and Iris are younger siblings of a kindergartener at AFE, and only God knows their ages. Their mother, who works in the garbage dump all day, every day, gave birth to her children in her home. As soon as it was physically possible, she had another baby. And then another. She couldn’t care for them all. A nine-year old, who looks like a six-year old, babysat all three. They would lie on a bed together instead of learning to crawl because the child couldn’t hold all three.
Since these children were not born in a hospital there is no record of their birth. Neither is there a record of their mother’s birth. The world does not know about them, but God does. And God created them for a purpose. Now that the three babies are at AFE receiving milk and nutritious, age-appropriate foods, they have the chance for a normal life. And AFE accepted them with the stipulation that the mother would take precautions to avoid giving birth to more children than she can handle. They are being immunized and receiving proper sleep and care. Who knows what these children will become or how God will use them! Perhaps, they will become influencers and leaders in Honduran society, righting many of the wrongs we see today.