Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Morning with Barefoot Angels

This is the Bottle of the promotoras who came up with the idea of being the Bottle Fairy encouraging little ones to turn in their bottle and getting a sippy cup in return. She was a big hit!

Greetings from El Salvador!

My name is Katie Fitzpatrick, a member of the ASAPROSAR volunteer team. I thought I would give Barb a little break from posting on this blog.

This morning a group of six of us departed for yet another Barefoot Angels location. When I arrived, I was immediately struck by how bubbly and vibrant the children were. Some of the children were coloring or reading and several of them immediately came up to me with English children's books, hoping that I could help translate. They were so smart and curious. It was truly amazing to see. Once the teacher was able to calm the children down, several of them got up to give us letters welcoming us and thanking us for coming. The letters were such a sweet, genuine gesture. I kept mine to take home with me! We brought frisbees for the kids to play with and they immediately took to this new sport. We all went out to a soccer field that was large enough for them to run around. After breaking into smaller groups, the kids tried to see how many times they could pass the frisbee around their circle without it dropping. I think the winning group managed to get 200 throws in a row! After frisbee, the younger kids went back to the school building to play a jeopardy game with some of the volunteers. The older boys and girls were treated to a sex talk. The boys went into a neighborhood house for their talk with Marvin and Sid while Diana, Tara and I talked to the girls. They were a little sheepish, but fairly interested and their female teacher was particularly helpful because she was so open and eager to ask questions. Overall, I think the morning was a great success and I am looking forward to visiting another Barefoot Angels location tomorrow!


Hey everyone!

This is Marvin, another volunteer at ASAPROSAR. Today was my second day volunteering at Barefoot Angels (Angeles Descalzos), and let me tell you, it was the bomb. Katie already did a great job of covering the day, and I only have time to write for a few minutes (we're playing rummy!), so this will be succinct! We had two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and we had a blast playing frisbee and water balloons with the kids, teaching them about general health (7-11 years old), and sexual health (12-18 years old), and just generally spending time with them.

These kids, and their ability to infect us with their smiles, are essentially the cutest, most gracious things alive. It pains to me to know that its unlikely that I'll be seeing them anytime soon, but simply bearing witness to this group of people, the sense of community they have, and their ability to support, cherish, and sacrifice for each other, is something I will always remember. I think that as volunteers coming to visit these kids, its easy to say that this is a life changing experience. We see their hardship, their exuberance, and unflagging resilience, and come out of it feeling humbled and at the same time, elated, that we "made a difference". But when I started to think about it, I wondered, did we really? These children live these lives everyday, in conditions many of us could never possibly imagine. What could we possibly do for 1 day that would have a real impact? This is an imperative question, I realize, that comes with any form of altruism. This is why I feel like the work that ASAPROSAR does is so meaningful. From what I have seen, their functioning as a non-profit organization is astounding. They are composed of a great, diverse body of dedicated individuals, and have far-reaching projects and partnerships which extend to address the most vital issues in El Salvador's rural communities. And most importantly, the effect they create is sustainable, lasting, and INSPIRING. This is where we can come into the picture, gaze upon a mere fraction of the work that this organization does with their community, and feel moved, changed for the better, inspired. I give my whole-hearted support to this organization, and I'm boundlessly happy to see this love that this Dr. Guzman had initiated translated from ideas into brilliant smiles on the faces of these kids. And these smiles are not temporary. Haha that was sappy.

There are probably a bunch of typos in this. Seeyah later, thanks!

Hi my name is Viviana Huang and I am the awesome coordinator of this whole trip! :D

Obviously, Viviana didn't write this...we think Marvin did. Eric says he "is the prettiest." Actually, Viviana is pretty awesome as our coordinator!


This is Barb back on the blog....others will be blogging soon. I spent my first day at the Dental Clinic and it was an incredible experience. We were very busy at two different sites all day long. I was quite exhausted after standing much of the day. I taught little kids how to brush their teeth - quite a challenge for me since I don't speak Spanish, but talking with your hands works well. I also took photos of the kids right before their exam and then kept the photos of the kids who were cavity free for the cavity-free poster. It was fun interacting with the kids.

I was amazed at the mothers and grandmothers and some fathers - many sat for hours waiting to be seen. Many of the little girls were wearing their best dresses. It was heartwarming to see the love between the parents and the grandparents and the children. They were obviously very poor, but there was so much love.

When we left, I noticed a woman of about 35 perhaps carrying a large two -handled water jug back and forth from a spigot to her home. She carried the water jug on top of her head. I lost track how many times she went back and forth, but remember five trips. The whole time her little four year old scampered along her side. Every time she passed, I smiled at her, and she smiled back. She had waited hours for her daughter to be seen, then she was fetching the water for her family. I couldn't help but think of how tired I was and yet she was still working and caring for her family.

Tomorrow, I go back to the Barefoot Angels. Only girls are volunteering tomorrow, so I have been voted to give the Sex Ed talk to the teenage boys. I'm taking Juan Carlos with me to translate since I don't speak spanish. A group of our ASAPROSAR volunteers sitting behind me are alternately acting like it is cool (a 55 year old mom) is giving the Sex Ed talk to teenage boys, to howling with laughter. Oh well....I've been embarassed other times in my life! :-)


This is Sid and today was my second day are Barefoot Angels. Another day with hyperactive kids! My favorite activity of the day was the water balloon toss. Everyone got in a group of about 5 or 6 kids and tried to pass the balloon back and forth as many times as possible. We made 30 water balloons but kids only really lasted 2 to 3 tosses so we ran out pretty fast but it was still worth it. I was also really impressed with the appreciation the kids had for everything. We all got hugs from each kid, the young ones and the older ones, and they gave us thank you cards for coming and one kid from each age group recited a thank you message to us. I have never seen anyone so excited to receive such basic gifts like a toothbrush and toothpaste. Although these kids don't have much, they make sure they are grateful for anything that they receive. I also have so much respect for their teachers. The kids are such a cohesive group and I am sure much of the credit has to be given to these teachers and the parents of the children. Overall, a really enjoyable day!

No comments:

Post a Comment