Today I had my first teaching day with the children at Casa de Luz. They are sweet, polite, and attentive. Already they have stolen my heart. They said goodbye with hugs, as though we were old friends. After class, my teaching colleague, Ivonne, took me to Coxen Hole. It is a small city on the south side of the island, and without a doubt one of the poorest I have seen. The streets are narrow and crowded, and traffic moves along by some sort of sixth sense and a lot of guts since there are few signs or signals. It reminded me of India, without the cows.
Last night a man was picking through the trash outside my area of houses. I could hear the “plink” as he dropped aluminum cans on the ground. Most of us have seen homeless people picking through trash and we don’t think about it too much. But you have to understand that here, as in most of Central America toilet paper doesn’t get flushed. They simply don’t have the water treatment facilities that we do, so paper gets deposited in a toilet-side trash can, and then it goes into dumpsters, where the poor sort through it looking for food and recyclable items. Parents send children to do this. And they eat what’s edible. I had a little trouble with this last night. It’s hard to imagine but here it is reality. The school where I teach has no indoor plumbing. We have a five-gallon bucket which we empty ourselves, into the jungle behind the school. I carry hand sanitizer and I can only wonder why the children aren’t sick more often. I plan to take my paper trash down to the beach and burn it. Sleep well, friends. We’ve got it made back home.
Care4Communities (C4C) is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), Florida-based Corporation, headquartered in Jacksonville. C4C exists to share the love of Jesus with the communities of Roatan through sports, education and construction activities as a means to develop relationships and affirm their dignity.