I have safely arrived in the children’s home in Santa Ana. For those who don’t know what it’s about: a home for street kids or kids at high risk up to the age of 18 located on the edge of Santa Ana in El Salvador. Founded by Senor Pinto and Padre Gloden over 10 years ago, the home is the reason for the ‘Fondacion Luxembourg – El Salvador’ which funds it.
The top right part of the building in the picture above is my room. Right underneath is my personal bathroom. Senor Pinto has been very kind in providing me with all I need for my stay, especially my own room with a wireless internet connection (very important!!).
The staff as well as the children were very welcoming upon my arrival. Allowing me too feel homily has so far not been an issue. The staff is very friendly, good hearted and competent at what they do. With the children I had some minor problems at first, as it was hard for us too communicate. The children did not understand my Spanish and I did not understand their accent. But all this has changed now, after only a week. Of course there are still some minor communication difficulties at times, but we have learned to deal with them and so they don’t cause any major problems.
I get along very well with the kids and enjoy playing with them. They are a very fun bunch. Playful, Creative and eager to learn would be what summarizes them best. Currently I only act as a supervisor as the children are still on holiday. Soon I will however begin my duties as teacher. This consists of teaching them English as well as how to use the internet. From conversations with the kids I have realized how eager they are to learn both these things.
Currently there are only 18 kids in the home, as only a few weeks ago many had to be sent home because they reached the age limit (7-18). Getting new children has also become much more difficult due to a new law the government implied on ‘Hogar de Ninos’ (Homes for Children). This law sounds great in theory, but has its issues in practice.
(UPDATE: As of today only 17 children are in the home. One child, Emmerson, left over night. He took this decision himself, and left without telling anyone. So far nobody knows why he just left. He was 9 years old, if I am not mistaken. A very quiet child that did not play a lot with the other kids. But he was accepted, like everyone else here. I barely got a chance to talk to him as he always kept to himself. A very special character and it is very sad to see that he has just left; something that is not common here.)
Day 13 – Santa Ana