Four kids in South America describe their happy place

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Compassion International
/ Categories: Sponsorship

We asked four sponsored children from across South America what their favourite thing is about the community they live in, here’s what they had to say. 

 

 

Caption: Allison from Colombia. 

 

 

Allison in Colombia 

Allison is a 9-year-old girl who lives in the Betel community in the desert of La Guajira, in northern Colombia. The Atlantic Ocean borders this desert, creating salt mines where the population works to support their families. 

People in La Guajira primarily work raising goats and in salt mines. Poverty in this region affects many families, as parents are not able to provide for their children. The community suffers from water scarcity; most people drink salt water from wells or rainwater that settles.  In Allison’s community, families are large, with between three and eight children. They sleep in hammocks, as beds are uncommon.  

Allison lives with her mother, grandmother, and some other relatives. Despite the struggles they face each day, she finds joy in her community. 

“La Guajira is my happy place because I can ride my bicycle here and play with my cousins. I also like to help my grandma to care for the goats,” says Allison. 

Allison likes to attend church every day, and dance in the service. Allison attends the Compassion programme at his local church, and she even arrives early at the centre to help tutors to clean the rooms. 

At the centre, Allison receives nutritious food, amid a food crisis, clean water and has the opportunity to learn about Jesus through Bible stories.  

“I used to eat just one meal daily, but since the centre started, I eat four times a day. My favourite food is spaghetti,” says Allison. 

The impact the centre has made in lives like Allison’s is clear to see—for her and her family. 

“I am grateful and happy with what God is doing through the church,” says Allison’s grandmother. “People who see my granddaughter say that she looks pretty and healthy, and it is because, at the centre, they are giving her a healthy diet and water.”

 

 

Caption: Kevin from Bolivia.

 

 

Kevin in Bolivia 

Kevin lives in the rural high plateaus of Bolivia in Cutini community.  Families usually grow potatoes or some grains, and own different animals, such as cows, sheep, chickens, rabbits, and llamas. 

Their crops have been affected by the extremely dry weather and little rainfall. Kevin’s community also has no access to a nearby medical centre, which means they have to travel even further to another community to receive medical care. 

Compassion’s staff always looks after the children and families’ needs. They provide food, school supplies, and some medicines. At the centre there is also a classroom with computers that have access to the internet. This is significant because many of the children don't have internet access at home to complete their homework.

Change this to Cutini is my happy place... 

 

 

Caption: Sem from Peru. 

 

 

Sem in Peru 

Sem lives in the rainforest of Peru, a village called Chazuta. 

One of the biggest problems here is drugs. It’s a struggle for the children and their families, and a challenge for the church. Some children in this city start smoking marijuana from as young as seven. 

People in Chazuta mainly work on the land, in farming and in commerce. 

Sem is 11 years old and goes to primary school. He enjoys playing soccer and going to his local church. 

There are lots of children and families in need in this community, and the church believes its call and purpose is for all of them to know the Lord. Compassion’s help is a valuable tool to demonstrate the gospel. Aside from meeting their physical needs, the church staff often talk to the children and parents about the danger of getting into drugs. 

The laidback way of life is what makes Sem’s hometown so special to him.  

“This is my happy place because the gospel is spreading in the Peruvian rainforest. I can swim in the river, spend time with my family, play soccer with my friends and be surrounded by nature,” says Sem. 

 

 

Caption: Matias from Educador.

 

 

Matias in Ecuador 

Matias lives in Anconcito, Ecuador. 

Many people are unemployed in this community and struggling to make enough income to provide for their families. Most people in Anconcito fish but the job is hard work for little money. 

Another problem is the presence of gangs and drug dealing. As Anconcito is a small port for fishing ships, many cartels use that area for drug trafficking—and they push children to help them. 

 The local church is partnering with Compassion to help children and their families, doing everything they can to children kids from falling into gangs and drug dealing. 

Despite the dangers, Anconcito is Matias’ happy place. Matias says, “I love the ocean; I find peace when I see the birds flying around me and hear the waves breaking at the beach.” 

For Matias, the ocean represents hope because it is where his dad and family make an income. The ocean is where his dad goes every week. After saying goodbye at the shallows, Matias waits for his dad to return safe and with many fish. 

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