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Published: June 25th 2013
Ambulance and police
... maybe 50 yards away.
Last night, while I was in my little office, I heard gunshots. In my mind I told myself it was just the regular nightly firecrackers in the street. I heard a lot of commotion in the street and I told myself, "No, they are just celebrating something." But then I went upstairs to the volunteer’s quarters and the other volunteers asked me if I had heard the shots. They said they saw someone down the street get carried away in an ambulance and blood on the street. I've heard shots before, but I have been far enough away that I couldn't know what happened. I asked about it today and one of the teachers told me it was a 10-year-old boy who had been shot by gang members. He died in the hospital. He had 12-year-old a brother who had also been killed not too long ago. I'm not sure of the rest of the details. He was not a student at UPAVIM and the teacher telling me the story didn't know the boy. Interestingly, everything was as usual this morning. This evening, people are out on the streets again as if nothing happened. This will not make the news, but
Vaqueros - Cowboys
this is life in La Esperanza.
As for me (for those of you with furrowed brows), I'm safely locked in this mini-fortress of the UPAVIM building where I spend most of my time. I watch the world from our 4th floor rooftop living quarters. I'm not a target... not part of a gang... not likely to get involved in those matters. The ladies of UPAVIM would have us leave if they thought things were too dangerous. It's safe to go out during the daytime and I always stick to the most public of places when I go out.
As for the students here, as young as they are, I have to think they know that people are getting shot in their neighborhood. How does this affect them? What do they think of all this?
On the other hand, last Friday the classes had career day. The children dressed up in the outfits of what they want to be when they grow up ... and this is why I am here. Notice from the pictures that not one of these children dressed up as a gangster. Education is the key to rising above living
in poverty and a way out of gang life. Maria Montessori believed her method was education for peace. Peace in the home, in the neighborhood, in the world. I do to. These children at UPAVIM deserve a chance to learn that they have they choice to create their own lives. They have the power to change their world. I hope the seeds are sown (as Montessori would say) for them find that choice in some of the Montessori lessons I have brought to their teachers. I hope they grow up to see their dreams. It's not a lot... but you never know...
There are a bunch of photos waaaaaay down at the bottom of the page. Scroll down to the bottom of this page or double-click on the pictures to see more photos connected with this blog.
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