My neighbor here in Oaxaca is a man named Cliff from Iowa who spends several months a year in Mexico working for a program called Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots. The organization provides money to allow children to receive an otherwise impossible education. Since the public schools here are not free, it gives children, and their families, a lot of hope for the future. The amount of money needed for each student is insanely small, like around $150 a year for a student in elementary school and $225 a year to send a college student through medical school, and they are always is need of more money, volunteers and supplies. Right now they have over 600 students in the program.
Cliff said a newspaper in Iowa was looking for some photographs, so I went by yesterday while the students were eating lunch. I’ve always found children in third-world countries to be much happier than those in the United States, and the kids from Oaxaca are no different. Most of them live in one-room shacks with dirt floors, but they smile all the time. It’s pretty humbling being with those kids. If you’re interested, you can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Cliff (email@example.com).