When we first presented Benilda and her eight children in April 2020, the six-school-age children were excited that they had just begun the school year with new school supplies furnished by an “angel”.
Within a few days, however the schools were closed because of the onset of pandemic restrictions. And yet they felt fortunate; “their wood and bamboo house with it dirt floor and sturdy roof still keep out the rain” she announced cheerfully. And though there was no running water in the house, there was a water pipe on the property and electricity to give them light for reading in the evening.
Circumstances change, and the family’s living conditions have deteriorated. The kind benefactor who had allowed them to live in that house for $10 a month died and Benilda’s family was forced to find a new place to live. They have found a nearby lot rent-free, but they must build their own structure. With only $485 a month income from her house-cleaning and son Alexander’s part-time work at a nearby greenhouse, finding even second-hand building materials is difficult. They are no utilities on the property, neither electricity nor running water, so they must go to a nearby creek for drinking water and water for washing.This photo shows how primitive and inadequate are their current accommodations. This early and heavy rainy season has been especially hard for them to endure.
Concerned citizens are finding ways to help them make a better house.
Still, Benilda maintains her optimistic attitude and reminds the children to be grateful for blessings that come to them, like the extra food from Buenos Vecinos each month.