Daily Exposure To Toxic Waste

“Slogging through piles of trash in the pouring rain, I was almost overcome by the stench of toxic fumes, rotting meat, and decaying vegetables, ” reported Dulce Boza, OAA program director, after visiting with the children known as “Garbage Kids.”
At the gigantic dump Dulce toured in Jinotepe, Nicaragua, children of all ages scavenge through garbage, struggling to provide the barest of subsistence for themselves and their loved ones. With daily exposure to industrial and biological toxins, these children suffer from skin disorders, chronic disease, and malnutrition. But most of all, they suffer from the neglect of a world where the gap between rich and poor grows wider every day.
To understand how people could possibly live and work in such unbearable conditions, we first need to realize that abject poverty is a fact of life in Central America. Nicaragua is classified by the World Bank as the second poorest country in Latin America and the Caribbean, and is ranked 115 out of 169 on the United Nations Human Development Index as a low-income food deficit country.
Yet, while poverty and hunger continue to plague the poorest of the poor in Nicaragua, the “Garbage Kids” remind us that the human spirit is indefatigable.
These children are just like all children, with a God-given, creative spirit that can turn mounds of trash into a playground. Dulce told us the children face their daily tragedy with inspiring zest and grace, finding happiness even under the worst living conditions. “It was heart wrenching to see bright little faces all around me,” she said, “laughing and dancing, while right behind us loomed endless mountains of garbage, with vultures circling overhead.”

Family Dreams

The Garbage Kids and their families, like all families, dream of a better future, of a healthier, happier life with a safe, clean home and food on the table. They even dream of sending their children to school so they can rise above their squalid conditions. But those dreams crash back down to earth in the face of a grim reality.
Dulce reflects on her time with the Garbage Kids of Nicaragua, observing, “These small children are the perfect reminder of God’s endless love.” For the past two years, through Caring for God’s Children, OAA has returned that love at Christmastime by serving these children healthy meals and giving them brand new toys they can call their own.
This year our goal is to visit the more than 500 children living and working in and around the dumps of Nicaragua and share the comfort and joy of the holidays. OAA is targeting three areas in Nicaragua that share similar circumstances: Managua, Masaya, and Carazo. Managua is Nicaragua’s capital; Masaya is 20 minutes from the capital, and Carazo is 45 minutes from the capital. Our scheduled delivery date is December 15, 2013.
During the holiday season, let’s pause to reflect on the humble birth of our Savior, the “infant holy, infant lowly,” cast off by society, born in a manger. Please add OAA to your holiday gift list. This Thanksgiving and Christmas, take this special opportunity to partner with us and share your blessings with these beautiful children.