Grey brick walls with metal scraps laid on the top serving as homes. A group of people circled up doing drugs. Children riding their bikes or sitting outside their home not too far off. Recent high school graduates who won't go to college because their families can´t afford it.
These are all realities in Chimalhuacan and for the first week I was here, I didn´t really see it. I lived in a comfortable home with a family that always cooked warm, delicious meals for us and had children laughing and running around each day. For a while, I didn´t know why I was here because this family like other families seemed happy, well-off.
It wasn´t until I promoted the cursos de verano (summer classes) for children that we had been planning and saw children living in areas where drug use occurs on a daily basis that I wondered where these children will end up in the future. It wasn´t until I stayed up to talk to my host family and heard stories about teenage pregnancies, spouses separated because one is working in the U.S., and children not going to college for a professional career because of the cost that I saw the injustice. Why is it that most of these children will be here their entire lives and I am fortunate enough to dream of going to other countries and will actually be able to achieve that someday. Or that I am enjoying what money can buy me when I have never earned it.
What´s even more heart-breaking is that there are more people in impoverished communities like these than there are people in beautiful, well-planned suburban communities where I come from.
"Why?" is a powerful question. Sometimes we won´t like the answer to that question and we may not ever get an answer to that question, but I want to go home with a clear, real perspective of this world and a bigger heart for people. I want to see my life changed after this experience. I want to love this community.