Monday, September 22, 2008

Esperanza’s little school has an English teacher twice a week. A very nice Costa Rican woman, with a good grasp of the English language. Her students could learn much from her on many levels, if they apply themselves. Rural students are or tend to be self-conscious, they don’t want to speak out loud or shout out the answer when asked. So today, I shouted out the answers and they started to join in.

They have been given a homework assignment and I look forward to seeing who completes it. Most never do their homework. There are many challenges for the teachers of rural children. The attitude of the children, handed down to them by their parents in some cases, cripples possible success.

One child aspires to have a husband, pray for her. I told her she could be the President if she wanted to. She is a smart girl who desperately needs direction other than that of her Mother, Aunts and Grandmother. Her life of poverty, poor role models, no money, insufficient food and revolving doors of men in her Mother’s life has left her with challenges we can barely imagine. She lives in a town with no electricity where the shanty’s have no running water, no two boards or pieces of tin that they live in are alike, all unfit for human habitation. Should she marry, this Costa Rican child will be a slave to her husband.

She continues to come to school under the most adverse conditions. Her teacher picks her up on the side of the road and brings her to the school and the town where she lived in the past, Esperanza. Is there hope for her and the other children in this one room school house? I hope so, I continue to whisper words of encouragement into their ears, their dreams can come true, their futures are as big and bright as the fire that burns in their hearts.

At the end of today, she decided she wants to be a tour guide and make her own living. With your help we can give them opportunity and educational tools, only they can provide the desire.

What do the children need? Simple Spanish English dictionaries, they have none, the teacher does not have one. They need school supplies, every pencil and crayon we started the year with, is gone. Only one child comes prepared with supplies and she is not allowed to lend them out. A good rule her Mother has taught her or her tools would soon disappear. They need navy blue skirts and pants of all sizes and white shirts. They also need sweat shirts to keep them warm on cold mountain mornings. We often need shoes, children out grow their shoes quickly in the elementary years, and shoes are expensive here. $20. for a poorly made pair and most are about $30. Nearly a weeks wages for one pair of shoes and they can not afford to buy shoes for the children, and feed them.

It is important to educate these children; many rural families see the forest as a tree to cut down for money. We are not talking forest management here for they have no understanding of the advantages the forest provides. We can not change the parents easily, but we can educate the children who will then teach their parents and neighbors. It is easier to give birth, than to breathe life back into the dead. Will you help me to give them opportunities so that they can realize their dreams?

Will you sponsor a child? Please contact me at Do you have an old working laptop that you can donate? The teacher has PC educational CD’s, she has no PC. If we had laptops we could teach keyboarding, use our software, and inspire the children to continue their studies. They must have these skills to compete, to go to high school and college. First we must give them skills, then we will find scholarships, they deserve a chance to break the cycle of poverty that they were born into.

I thank you for your help. Ginnee

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