Wednesday, January 16, 2008

La Carpio - Sanctuary For A Lost Generation

La Carpio (the Grandaddy of the Barrios) can be many things to many people. To the "Ticos" (Costa Ricans) it is a dangerous and forbidden place. It is separated from the Ticos by one road that leads to a quarry. The road is narrow, there are buses, autos, bicycles and pedestrians all trying to squeeze into the lane littered with burning trash piles, garbage and unnamed things. You are certain where the dividing line is between "the haves" and the "have nots"

It is also a place where the "Nicas" (Nicaraguans) scratch out a meager existence and just try to survive to the next day. Where the day brings hunger and the night, danger. There are almost 40,000 Nicas living on a patch of ground that is basically a garbage dump. The "streets" are barely passable, and children and animals are everywhere.

But in the middle of the chaos, there is a small rectangle of hope in the form of a Community Center. Here the lucky few have a safe place to play, learn and worship. It is still a place that is unfinished but progress is evident. To some it looks like a place to play soccer but, if you look closer into the faces of the children, it is a place where the Lord protects and nourishes his children.

It is a place where the children received medical care. It is a place where they learned the story of a loving Saviour. It is a place where there is hope to break the shackles of their existence.

The kids had a blast as they sang, busted the pinata, and listened to stories of the Bible.
One of the highlights was Ramon telling the story of Noah. As they listened to the story, some children had to pretend to be certain animals and the rest of the children had to guess what the animal was. It was hilarious to watch them make sounds and guess!

Dr Rita and the Team were amazing! Even on the last day, everyone maintained the highest attention to the children and making sure every person recieved the same amount of care and concern as the first one. We are soooooo blessed to be here.



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