I didn't know if shoe shine boys worked in the same areas but I met Jaime a few blocks from our hotel and asked Francisco to please keep an eye out for him. I had a list of questions for him to ask him if he was found. Francisco went above and beyond, printing out this photo and bringing it to businesses in the area with his phone number to be called if Jaime was seen. The following week Jaime showed up at the hotel!
He is looking a bit bewildered in this photo.
Much better with a little food in his stomach. (note his pitch black hands from shoe shining)
After a few emails back and forth with Francisco I found out he is one of nine children! He doesn't live in the city but travels in (probably by bus, but not sure about that) to add a few $Q to the family's income. Can you imagine? Sending your 11 year old boy into the city to work and make money?
The magic of Western Union and a special young man named Francisco they had a very memorable Christmas.
I received a slideshow today set to music that was made for me by the angel Francisco. The top two red word slides at the beginning of this post were the opening of the slide show. The following is how the day unfolded.
Fortifications before Christmas shopping. It is possible he has never eaten fast food. Amazing what we take for granted.
On the way to his home in a village outside of the city.
The siblings come running!
Jaime is presented with a pair of shoes.
And a bicycle! ( Francisco and I had a conversation about to get or not to get such an extravagant gift, Francisco thought if we could make a little boys dream come true that we should do it.)
Seven of the kids, with gifts too!
Dad and mom receiving the gift of money to purchase food for the family. (or other necessities)
Family photo with the Angel Francisco.
And that is my Christmas miracle!
PS, I plan on sending them $ regularly to help feed the family and hopefully take some of the burden off the kids to earn money to survive. If you'd like to help in any way, please shoot me off an email.
|from the slideshow|