Maria Luisa is 3 years old and goes with her mother, Marta, to a local dump in Guatemala. Every day they dig through rotting trash in hopes of finding recyclables to sell for food. “It’s hard work. It’s very tiring. I must continue to do it the rest of my life,” Marta said. She never went to school and doesn't read or write. To help her family survive, Marta started picking through trash at the dump when she was just 8 years old.
For Marta, now 24 and a single mother of four girls, finding discarded items is where her treasure is, because she is never sure when her children will eat again. Feeding them depends on selling enough recyclables. And, even though she hopes Maria Luisa will have a better life, she fears that this little one will not escape the dump.
None of us would ever want that life for our children. Tragically, this is how many extremely poor children in the Caribbean and Latin America are forced to live. It’s a generational legacy no one wants for a child.
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