• Home Exchange
  • Vacation Rentals
  • B&B

Choose from over 15 000 listings worldwide! Join our worldwide network today!

Sunday, 02 January 2011

"Pobre" means "poor" is Spanish.  Although I might have mentioned sometimes about some people living in less then desirable conditions, I did not really focus on that so far.  This is actually peculiar considering the fact that I came here to work with the children of poor families.  The interesting thing is that when the children come to the foundation here to have a meal and to play they are usually relatively well dressed and clean.  No one would ever suspect in what conditions they really live...

Yesterday and today I went for walk in parts of town where our children come from.  Unfortunately I did not take my camera with me to document what I have seen.  Actually I didn't have my camera for a reason.  I was warned that if I showed up with a camera in some of these places, it might be dangerous not only to my camera (it would be taken away) but also to me. 

When I came back today I took my camera and went once again to a place where I had seen an elderly lady sitting in front of her house (a shack, actually). I thought it would be a great picture.  Maybe it wouldn't be good enough for posting in The National Geographics but I hope that it would make some impression on the readers of this blog (assuming that anyone reads it -- if you do, please let me know and write a comment below).

However,  the lady did not let me take a picture of her.  I usually don't steal closeup shots of people, especially if they are living in poverty, without asking them for permission first -- I think that especially poor people might not want to be photographed because of their pride.  I don't know why the lady did not allow me to take the picture -- was it because of her pride, or for any other reason?  She was talking to me a lot and fast, and all I could understand was the she did not want the picture to be taken.  I offered her 50 cents that I had in my pocket but she wouldn't budge.  I know that 50 cents is not a big bribe but some people here work the whole week for only about $30, which makes about $6 a day...

This is the second time that I was refused by an older lady (!!)... :-)   Actually, I mean that I was refused  by an older lady to be photographed.  I didn't really ask for anything else... :-)  The same happened to me on Dec. 30 (or was it 31?)  when I walked around the better part of town taking pictures.  There was also an elderly lady standing in the doorway looking interesting (at least to my eyes).  She also refused to be photographed and went away...   An elderly man with a cat at his feet also did not want to be photographed at first but I did manage to convince him, just using my charm, rather then truing to bribe him.  He is one of the faces that I posted in my blog that day. Hint:  look for the cat at his feet!

So, I did not take any pictures of the really poor neighborhoods. What I can show, however, is a few pictures that were taken by Iza soon after my arrival here.  Iza and Jarek spent with us a few days here at the foundation.  They are two Polish mountain climbers who somehow found out about the foundation and paid us a visit for a few days before their return home. They arrived here a few hours before my arrival on Dec. 12, and after spending 4 or 5 days with us, went back to Poland. While they were here, a few of us went to visit a mother with two children.  For the security we went in the company of Rosa, an Ecuadorian lady who also volunteers for the foundation.  Iza had her camera with her and she took a few photographs of the area that we were visiting.  The area is called La Poza ("the well" in Spanish).  It is actually an area of buildings built on swamps.  Why these people live there?  Because it is a wasteland and it doesn't cost much to rent a space there.  Every penny (or 50 cents, for that matter) counts, if you make $30 a week, or if you have no job at all and live with two children...

This is the lady and the child that we visited

These are all her possessions
No bathroom, no running water (except when it rains, of course)

Here are her neighbors with a much bigger house. 
There might be 10 to 15 people living in it.

And another neighbor...

Closeup of the boy we visited

Another curious neighbor of his

This boy came out to show off his bicycle...

Posted byJ23


Hi there from sunny Brunswick Heads, Australia

Have had a successful change to Alaska in '09 through your site and have another arranged for Nova Scotia later this year. Plus I am hosting someone from Reunion Island in April - all through your free site. Excellent!

More testimonials

new members