La Chureca - Stories from the Forgotten
I spent the last 3 month in Nicaragua at,
During my stay we returned to one of the communities that we have an outreach program in, La Chureca. La Chureca is a garbage dump that hundreds of families call home.
La Chureca was named one of the '7 Horrors of the World' and if that is not a detailed enough description, one might say it truly looks like the mouth of hell.
This is a place where only vultures should inhabit.
Every time I visit La Chureca, it is hard for me to write about. Why? Well, because there is no way I could ever accurately explain this place. Honestly, you can't hardly even grasp the reality of it when you are standing in the middle of it, let alone, just seeing a glimpse of it though a picture and some words.
Do you See Him?
Yes, This is someone's home.
As I stood in the middle of this Landfill, looking at the houses made of scrap metal, no electricity, no running water, dirt floors, watching kids run around barefoot, the men & woman pillaging around in the waste of others just to find anything for survival; I was speechless. Literally, there are not words you can say...
This. This is a way of life. The only way of life they know.
The journey getting to La Chureca was a roller-coaster, but when it comes down to it the reality is, this is a roller-coaster that many can never get off of. This perspective makes the bumps and the bruises worth the effort.
It's so horrific that your mind can't grasp that what your seeing isn't an over dramatized scene from a movie.
Needless to say, it's simply depressing to think about.
I don't want to think about it because then I actually have to acknowledge that it exists.
La Chureca, Nicaragua
Introducing the team to the children at the La Chureca Outreach Program.
Every day, World Missions Outreach provides a hot meal for each child in La Chureca. The team helped serve the children their meals and gave each one a new back-pack filled with school supplies!
For some kids, this is the only meal they receive each day. WMO is working tediously to change
this reality for the people of La Chureca.
You may remember me sharing Oscar's story. He is a young man that lives in La Chureca & has taught himself English from a dictionary he found.
He is trying to learn English to get a job so that he could do better for his wife and daughter! Simply put, he is desperately trying to get himself and his family out of the place of forgottens, La Chureca.
During the rainy season his dictionary was ruined and washed away with his entire house. His self taught English lessons were put on a halt in the brink of this major tragedy that had struck his family.
When I went to see Oscar, he was not there. At first, I was upset! Then his wife explained to me that Oscar had gotten a job at the hardware store 3xs a week in Managua! I was so thrilled for him. His dream of getting a job and becoming financially stable for his family was becoming a reality!
I gave Oscar's wife a new dictionary and English book. Now Oscar can continue practicing. I am so inspired by Oscar and his family. You can truly tell they are doing everything they can to get out of La Chureca!
I can not wait for the day that I go back and get to hear... "Oscar doesn't live here anymore"! I know that day is coming soon!
I Have Been Asked...
"You actually willingly go here?"
"Why would you want to show anyone this?
"Does going there even matter?"
"Why would you want to come here?"
"Do you let them touch you?"
"Aren't you afraid of how dirty it is?"
"Why do you go back there?"
"Are you not afraid of those people?"
"Why not just stay in the US and help here ?"
We do! You can do both Smarty Pants!
Younger me, did not respond kindly to these types of questions. I had no tolerance for commentary like this. Just ask the TSA agent I got in a verbal altercation with.. They almost didn't let me back in America, but thats another story for a different day.
As I have gotten older, I realized I can not hold other people accountable for not understanding something they have yet to experience.
Now, some of these comments came from people standing right beside me in the middle of La Chureca. They have obviously experienced La Chureca, so how could they not understand?
Let me explain what I mean by, "Not understanding something they have yet to experience."
Have you ever really stopped to think about how big the world is? To date, there are 7.5 billion people and about 70% of the earth is covered by water. We are comparable to ants when it comes to the big picture of reality.
Yet, we consume ourselves with things we want, let money dictate our own or others self worth. We rationalize that human suffrage isn't affecting 'me' directly, so therefore why should I care.
We are all human. The human race is all the same. There are no borders, colors or variables when it comes to humanity. We all have the same basic needs, emotions & blood pumping through our veins.
Who is to say that my life is worth more than one of these precious children covered in filth and destined for a future of unbearable hardship. I can't change the future for the entire world, but I can change my outlook on how I want to leave the world. Together, we can put up a pretty big fight to combat childhood hunger and the cycle of generational poverty.
So, back to what have they not experienced yet...?
Passion & Purpose!
I decided a long time ago, that there were really only two options for me. I could chase my passion, make a difference, inspire hope, change the future & find my purpose or I could turn a blind eye to everything outside of my fish bowl life.
When you choose to pursue your passion it comes with a raving long list of things to beam about, but It can also come with many things that haunt you and keep you up at night. There are certain things in life that you can't unsee.
Those things change you. They make you quiet in a room full of people. You don't think the same. You don't speak the same. You don't interact with people the same anymore. They silence you and consume your thoughts. They touch the inner most part of your soul and test every bit of your strength. They break you and build you at the same time. - You will never be the same again.
If nothing else, I hope to give a voice to the voiceless. The forgotten. The untouchable. These are their stories. They will not be forgotten.
"Do you feel good about yourself now?"
You have a choice. You can chose to make a difference or you can sit back and watch others make a difference?
It doesn't have to look exactly the same as mine, but whatever it may be - find your passion & pursue it!
It will give your life the sense of purpose you have been looking for.
Do Short Term Mission Teams Matter?
Of course they do! Still questioning it? Ask the 15,000 students who now have agriculture knowledge & are able to provide food for their families; not just one time, but for a lifetime!
Want to plan a trip with World Missions Outreach?
We can accommodate your teams areas of outreach & tourism interest. Each teams itinerary is personally customized & you can set your own dates