The children of the garbage dump come from a small world that ends at the border of their neighborhoods. The younger children do not recognize that they live in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. Nor have they traveled downtown to see the beautiful remnants of colonial architecture or the brightly colored signs of fast-food chains signaling a larger world of international commerce exists.
I always enjoy watching the children take their first step on an escalator when we bring them to the airport to pick up teams. It is a frightening thing to get on a moving staircase and to feel so out of control of your location. We often cause a bit of an uproar as we attempt to travel up to the second level with the AFE children.
These experiences are priceless. They give the children vision, they learn that there is more to life than the garbage dump community. They see people working in other professions, they visit places that are kept clean of trash, and they begin to dream.
Thanks to Washington Cathedral and all who participated in its “Fiesta de Milagros” auction, the children of AFE will be able to travel outside of their dump community much more frequently now. They have purchased for us a 15 passenger van (roughly 30 Honduran-passenger), which will serve to take classes on field trips. Trips to museums, the zoo, and the universities are planned. The more we can get AFE’s children out into “normal” society, the more they will feel comfortable and become socialized for something more than dump-life.
The van will transport visiting teams as well, though we plan to continue charging a small transportation fee to cover yearly maintenance.
We are excited about the possibilities in store, thanks to all who have given so generously!