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Nelson's Graduation

Have you ever had the sensation of time stopping, waking up and realize it's been weeks and even months. Most of the time it happens when we are dealing with big problems, which we think have no solution.

That happened to me this year.

One day I received a call that reported one of our students, Abigail fainted due to hunger. That was because we didn't had any money to buy food neither pay for teacher's salary. We even though of closing the school in San Pedro Sula.

Out of the sudden I woke up today thinking our first graduation will be december 16th.

I still remember the first day of classes like it was yesterday.

When I taught for the first time the song "Gusaninglish", which later became the school anthem and the nickname Nelson said to me.

Between the students who are finishing first grade is Nelson. He is amazing.

He is the school clown. Always playing, joking and doing monkey business.

This week the fake his hand was injured by the car door and Katherine almost cried out of fright.

He's cheerful and crazy but a good student.

After I found out he had taken a chocolate coin from a baby, he knew I was mad, so he stop what he was doing to help me clean my car.

I love Nelson. From the surface it looks like he doesn't has any problems. But reality is different.

Like the other he also works on the trash dump, with his hyperactive behavior and sense of humor it feels like he is hiding something else.

Last week we were informed he missed two school days, which is weird in him, he barely skip classes. Worried about him, we took a visit to his house. His mother was sleeping at noon, cause she worked all night in the dump. After a while Nelson came out.

This time he wasn't smiling, as he always does. I notice his eyes were red and swollen.

"I have conjunctivitis" He said.

"For how long have you been feeling sick?"

"Four days ago, I haven't attended school for two days".

"Does it hurts alot?" I asked.

"Yes, I can't sleep" He said.

"It itches, burns, my eyes are always watery and I can't see well".

"Did the doctor prescribed you medicine?" I asked.

"My mom hasn't taken me because she has no money."

"Ok, tomorrow early morning I will come for you to take you to the doctor"

He got inside his house and almost immediately came back with a fake smile and a sorta confused expression, but pretending he was carrier of good news.

"We now have a stereo system" He said.

"Wow really?" I asked, pretending amazement.

"Yes, it sounds pretty loud, last Saturday we tried it in a party my mom hosted in the house."

Again, my mind starts to put together loose ends and remembers that "this" is what makes people upgrade their status in the community.

Surely this electronic costs more money that they can afford and we assumed is the reason why Eric and Kimberly (Nelson's siblings) stopped attending school; to make more money working at the dump and pay for this.

In the midst of this underworld Nelson lives, there's a joy he can't be quiet about and it's that he successfully approved first grade and his graduation is december 16th.

Nelson wants to be an architect.

It's a Honduran tradition, specially for children to wear new clothes for Christmas and New Years. At 6pm Christmas Eve everybody is wearing their new outfit.

If someone can't afford new clothes they go to sleep early and won't leave the house, so Christmas in that moment becomes a moment of shame, not a holiday.

Our goal besides graduation party, as a Christmas gift will be giving them their "Christmas outfit". Help us fundraise $1,500.00 and give our student a Merry Christmas.

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Building dreams and recycling lives to give hope to the children working in the trash dump.