I was one of the lucky people to experience seeing the happiness in the children at the nursery. Though we did not bring toys to the children, the children were instantly happy to see us. My group consisted of 12 volunteers. The children ran right to us and started climbing all over us. The children were starved for attention from adult males. Most of the children do not get the right amount of adult male attention because of single parenting from their mothers or just because their parents are working at the garbage dump. These children were so happy just to have a new person to play with. The kids also have a stable life at the nursery compared to the people working at the garbage dump.

The people working at the garbage dump face a hard life and seem less happy than the children at the nursery. Though they were welcoming and greeted us, they were not as enthusiastic as the children were. While the children are still innocent to the cruel truth, the workers are living it. They work all day, every day, going through and collecting others trash.

Some of the people doing the work were at one point [living a normal life]. Some natural disaster or an unlucky turn of events landed them there. A man by the name of Benedicto (pictured) had a stable life and a family in a larger town on the coast. Then a hurricane hit it and destroyed everything he had. He has been working at the dump for the past 12 years, earning just enough for him and his family to survive.

Ocotillo, Honduras

The children at the nursery will most likely work in the dump once they are old enough to carry a day’s finding of recyclable materials. Over time, the children will grow and start to have to think about their futures. They, unlike us, are most likely set without help and an education. Most of the adults do not have a decent education and are physically trapped in their current state which is why they are not as happy as their children. But if the children are properly educated now from a school like International Samaritan’s, they have a better chance of getting out of the garbage dump community and live a successful happy life.

Blog post from Michael Ginikos, St. Charles Prep student currently serving in Ocotillo, Honduras

Look for more updates and photographs from the St. Charles Prep service trip at our Facebook Group.