Gathering in a coffee shop with friends of different nationalities, who came to visit the trash dump, we got into a convergent point talking about poverty.
I asked my friend from Denmark, is there was poverty in his country, he nodded, replying that someone poor is generally a drug addict, but owner of a house, with job opportunities to keep on his drug addiction.
I asked the same question to my friend from the U.S, he told me a poor person generally lives from what the government gives them.
My friend from Canada said that to classify someone in the poverty line, it was measure by how much pounds of clothes their washing machine can hold.
Even though this conversation was between jokes, there was a lot of implied truth between lines.
I briefly talked about my childhood living in poverty, worked since I was a child, study in the afternoon and night. It was a rough night.
But knowing the story of this family it doesn’t compare to any of the descriptions above about living in poverty.
This family simply survives, under the poverty line.
Surely they all have made an effort to find a job that can supply their daily needs, without success…
Surely they thought about it for long afternoons and nights before going to the trash dump and look for an opportunity to survive.
This attitude is not an natural impulse but rather a demand of the need to survive. Even though the risks are extremely high, due to infections they can get and even die just by pinching their fingers with a infected needle, which is very likely because they are searching for recyclable material in a place called “El hospitalito” which means the “The little hospital”, it’s a distant place inside the trash dump were the public hospital goes and discards their medical waste.
The recommendation is obvious, “They shouldn’t be there”, but the sound that an empty stomach produces is louder than a suggestion without alternative.
This family hasn’t obtained the permit to work collecting recyclables through “normal” trash by the people who controls the trash dump.
The work performed doesn’t generate enough for only one person of the family to work that’s why a family of seven is all working there. Each one collects something to contribute to their home economy.
The government doesn’t see them until election time; casually they appear in front of their eyes.
Church doesn’t see them, except when they want to quiet down their own consciousness.
Society simply can’t see them.
Can you see them?
This is Grace Honduras work, making possible the impossible, visible the invisible and being the voice of those who are not heard.
You and I are responsible for what we see and know.
I ended the discussion with my international friends telling them that in Honduras, for generations they were three well defined social classes. High class, living in the suburbs, middle class which is the working class, and low class, the one where I grew up.
But this family we’re talking about are in a different social class in Honduras.
Those below the poverty line, nobody knows they exist, but they do exist.
Their existence is noticeable, but simply ignored.
That can happen right now if you read this story and don’t take into account the images.
Imagine if the government really had interest for this social class, this family would have an opportunity.
Imagine if church would pray less and do more. This family would have food from God.
Imagine if we can share what we got, we would make a change for this family.
Join the fight against social injustice.