Marlo is the owner of the school and Cafe Q (where I have been working). She is one of the kindest and coolest people I have met here. She lived in Chicago for a few years and was married to an Irish American, who passed away about 8 years ago from a sudden heart attack :( After that she came back to Xela and helped her sister run the school and started the cafe. She loves kids but doesn?t have any of her own and it is almost impossible to adopt here.
Every end of the year, close to Christmas time, she takes tamales to the women detention center, the hospital and give them out to the street kids (who shine shoes for a living). She must have bought at least 250 tamales, 30 loafs of bread and a few boxes of lipton tea.
As a school activity, we went to the women?s detention center where the women are there detained waiting for their court date which takes at least half a year. In Guatemala, you are guilty unless proven innocent. We think that most of the women there are there for shoplifting and other petty crimes and most seem really nice though you never know. They don?t seem to be treated too badly at this particular center but I have heard some really sad stories. I was told that the at male prisons, sometimes the whole family lives there because the wife and children cannot survive on their own. I can?t even imagine...
Thursday morning we brought 175 tamales to the central park, played with the kids and gave them food and tea. I think we put a little too much sugar in the tea because the kids kept coming back for more! There are three brothers there who actually come into the cafe sometimes, the youngest is only about 5. They shine shoes like maybe other street kids. They have a home but their mother charges them 10 Quetzales to eat and sleep there per night! I couldn?t believe it. I can go on and on about these poor kids. Fortunately, there is a program here called Escuela de la Calle, they have a school for the street kids and a dormitory as well, which has been quite sucessful. By the way, Jonathan, thank you for making a donation!
Needless to say the food-giving was great but quite sad at the same time.