On Being a Child


For 10Q ($1.25) Greg fixed a broken down children’s bike that had been sitting at our Tecpan office for two years. The joy this small gift gave has been enormous. Jorge’s older brother, Alberto already had a bike. Although his bike brings him much joy, he didn’t own a bike for pleasure.

Jorge and Alberto on their way to Project Somos for the first time

Jorge and Alberto on their way to Project Somos for the first time

Before moving here to Project Somos, Alberto, 8 years old, attended school in the mornings and in the afternoons cycled 8km to work to work in a thread factory. He earned $4/week. Because his father passed away under two years ago, he was forced to become the “man” of the house. This came with the responsibility of becoming a household bread earner.

Now Alberto and Jorge ride their bikes together around the Village. Alberto is learning to be a kid again. He is playing, attending school and riding his bike. But interestingly, he’s also looking for work. In his state of gratitude he is offering to help plant and harvest things. This morning he went on his regular walk about the Village wall collecting blackberries for his family.

My hope is that all of the children that come to live here rediscover the joy of childhood and that they can grow up not bearing too much of the burdens that life eventually offers all of us.

-Heather Alicia


2 Responses

  1. Melissa Hodges says:

    If you want to read more about a different than typical North American perspective on what learning and working is to kids I’d really recommend reading the blog and book called Project Based Homeschooling. I know your’re not homeschooling these kids but the perspectives and ideas about helping kids become life long learners and find meaningful work could be really helpful as you help “parent” these kids. http://project-based-homeschooling.com/

    • Hi Melissa,
      Thanks for your comment and your recommendation. I will definitely check it out! I was a homeschooling mom when my daughter was growing up and so have a particular lean that way too! Most of what we did together was project based and it worked for us! Thanks for reaching out! -Heather

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