In the field below the preschool was a brick-making business that Arturo had started to provide jobs for the local rough necks. The business itself is quite interesting. The men dig mud out of a hole, then mix it with sand. The mixture is then put in wooden brick molds, dried, then fired in a kiln for 18 hours. Each brick sells for about 3 limpera (15 cents). The work is hard, but provides some income and pride to the young men who have stuck with it.
Just when we thought we had seen the worst poverty there was to see, we pulled up in front of a shack that blew us away. The walls had been adobe, wattle and daub style, but had broken down and been replaced with tarps and anything else the owner could find. Arturo brought some granola bars to the two young children who were there (Thanks to Ann Prather, for the forethought to pack so many!). The little boy, wearing only a dirty tee shirt, had such a smile on his face when Arturo gave them the food that it literally went from ear to ear. According to Arturo, many of these children don’t do well in school because they are hungry, not because they have missed breakfast that day, but because they haven’t eaten for a couple of days.
There can be no ending for this narrative, because poverty is never-ending. The Bible tells us the poor will always be with us. However, the hope for the future lies in these children, through good health care, education, and love. Arturo and Suyapa are on the right track.