We (the other students and I) found out from some of the teachers that there was a community of about 11 families that were kicked off their land and are now living on the side of a street. One of the teachers, Julia, was wondering if we could all pitch in and buy some food. Well, of course! Every single one of us didn’t think twice. There is a good group of us here.
So, on Tuesday afternoon we went to the market and a few stores to price out food and water, so we could have a better idea of how much money we needed to donate. We followed Julia around, as she knew which places would be better to buy from.
Wednesday, we went back to those same places and bought 25 pounds of beans, 25 pounds of corn, packets of rice, packets of salt, packets of sugar, coffee, spaghetti (yes, it’s pretty popular here!), sauce, oil, matches, water and even some cookies. This all cost just over 100 bucks. Then we went to the school and divided everything into bags for each family.
Water in bags... I have never seen this before!
Yesterday, Claire, Josee and I (along with our teachers) took 2 hours out of our class time to deliver the bags. We left around 8:15 in two of these:
This is a Tuk Tuk.
We drove out of Copan Ruinas proper (on a bumpy, dirt back road that leads to Guatamala) for about 15 minutes and came to the community of 14, not 11, families. Living in houses like this:
It is still unclear why these people were kicked off the land. The property does have a new owner, so it’s possible they gave the families a deadline to leave, but actually made them leave sooner. Or, the deadline came and went, but the families didn’t leave, and the owners made them get off. One gentleman said they had official papers that allowed them to be there, but the owner tricked them and took the papers and in turn, made them get of the land. Some of the men may have even worked on the land.
Whatever the reason, these people are living in homes that barely protect from the elements, right on the other side of the land that was their home. They are in need of water, food and stability. I can only hope that the food and water we brought provide enough sustenance and strength to go a little longer.
A beautiful view on our trip to the Hot Springs!
A few interesting things:
- Many of the people had cell phones, and Coke was everywhere. For people who can barely afford food, it’s interesting they have these “conveniences.”
- The owners happened to come home when we were there… and brought the police. There was a government official who was investigating things. I guess the police were there to make sure things didn’t get out of hand.
- All of the people were grateful for the food and water, even if I only saw an expression on their face.
- Little kids LOVE to stare… especially when there is a Gringa around
I am not sure how much Internet access I will have over the weekend, so I want to wish you all a Feliz Navidad!!!! :) May God continue to bless you all! Enjoy your time spent with family and friends, eating and being merry! LOVE YOU ALL!