Jacinto and Paulina can give their kids the basics, a hot meal of rice and beans, often twice a day, and a warm dry place to sleep. Even better, they give them love and affection, a sense of security and protection, and a future they believe will be better than their own.
Jacinto works four days a week between two local families and also maintains the property in exchange for the right to put up a house there. It’s made of corrugated metal, bamboo and plastic tarps. Even though it has a dirt floor, only an outside water spigot and no electricity, they are comfortable. He says it is all they need for the present, but he would like more food and clothing for his family now that the cooler rainy season is beginning. He is looking for more work, but recent government health requirements plus inflationary pressures have severely impacted job opportunities for unskilled workers like him.
Still, the family is optimistic and grateful for small victories. This year six-year old Antony is in first grade at the local elementary school and doing well. The whole family is proud of him, especially his four-year old siblings, Byron and Janet who long to begin kindergarten next year. Two-year old Jeremy will also one day have his chance to start school, but right now he just enjoys playing with the family and their dog Lupita.
As brand new clients of Buenos Vecinos, Jacinto and Paulina are very happy and grateful for the monthly food bags. Jacinto knows enough English to be able to say “Thank you!” again and again as the kids embraced a watermelon and packets of cookies, gifts from their BVB volunteers.