Mexico Trek!   Trekkers DISPATCH: August 21 Silvia's Log

Young and homeless? Unfortunately you're not alone

30,000 sad eyes. 30,000 drugged minds. 30,000 cold bodies and hungry stomachs.

It is estimated that around 30,000 minors survive on the streets of Mexico - I won’t say "live" because I don’t consider it a life they deserve or want for themselves. The youth are in conditions of total abandonment, with major drug addiction problems, having left their homes due to situations of great poverty, family break-ups, alcoholism, sexual, physical, and psychological abuse, and even outright abandonment. Even when the street children smile, I can’t help flinching at the thought of what they have gone through already at such a young age.

Casa AlianzaCasa Alianza is an organization here dedicated to helping street children. Casa´s street educators walk the streets daily in dedication and constancy to their work- to help gain the trust of these kids so that they can voluntarily commit to the second stage of the program, the Crisis Center, or "Refugio." About 120 children come into the Refugio each day, where they are given a bed, shower, medical attention, counseling, and food. The most important part of this Refugio for them in the long-term is the structure given to their lives, something unknown in the streets. There’s a detox program, AIDS services, legal aid for minors, and a team of social workers, psychologists, and volunteers who help in any way they can.

Trivia!Here in the Refugio is where I will be meeting with the street educators before we go out on our walks through the parks and places where the children live, and afterwards to write up our daily reports. The Refugio is such a contrast to what lies just outside its front iron-wrought gate, where the other abandoned kids are looking in, but not ready to come in yet. It’s a decision they have to make on their own and willingly, because the process of stabilizing themselves and reintegrating themselves into society is a long and arduous one. I am very much wanting to know what they think about as they enter Casa Alianza and want to get off of the mean streets. I just hope I will be able to give back as much as I will learn from them during our month here.Follow along as we learn more about the situation here, as we learn about the situation where YOU live, and YOU take action to help make a difference!!!



Related Dispatches: 
Silvia - Young and homeless? Unfortunately you're not alone
Silvia - Drainpipes and drugs - Hitting the streets with Casa Alianza
Silvia - What's it like to live on the streets? Meet David - he's been there

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