Padres Gusanitos

Sometimes love just ain’t enough
Patty Smyth & Glen Burtnik

The parents of our children are struggling every day for their “daily bread“. Those who are lucky enough to have a job are either working on the street selling goods, in the laundry service or as shoemakers. In most cases the jobs are either seasonal or only occasional. In order to secure better living conditions for themselves and their families, many of the parents take on several jobs using the night to work an additonal shift e.g. as a night watchman. The average wages range between 1.000 and 2.000 Cordobas which is equivalent to a monthly income of USD 30 to 40 – simply never enough to overcome all the financial burdens of the family. Working occasional jobs means that most people do not have a contract with their employers and therefore do not have any kind of social – or health insurance. In addition to that there are no paid holidays, no spare money or any further extras. And all too often the employees get to hear the words: „We are sorry, no salary today. Come back next week and try again…“.
The result is that the whole family is suffering from the difficult situation and has to bear the consequences. Next to food, clothes, rent and any other needs the parents have to pay for the education of their children. Even though puplic schools do not charge officially, there are still fees that have to be paid in order for a child to be able to go to school. E.g. school uniforms and shoes, backpacks, books and a monthly cost of USD 5 to pay the teachers. The financial burden is one of many reasons why parents prefer to leave their children out of school. Many little girls – some of them younger than ten years old – are staying at home all day long watching for their little siblings and taking care of everything in the household, while their mothers are out working. Therefore it is quite common for the little siblings to stay at home and for the older ones it is self-evident to help provide for the family financially. The difficulties and problems of the parents engender that their children do not have the chance to enjoy an appropriate childhood, let alone get a suitable education, which is the basic right of every child.