Two felt tip markers. It was all Mirian needed to stay in school for the day, but her family did not have them. With no means of purchasing them, she was sent home. Until she acquires the two required markers, she may not return to school. It is difficult to get a good education, when there are disruptions such as these to consistent learning.
Mirian would like to be a teacher when she grows up, but that will be impossible if she is unable to get sufficient education. She is caught in a difficult dilemma. She needs an education to improve her life conditions in the future, but there are significant obstacles in the way to obtaining one due to the family’s current financial situation.
In Honduras, public schools are available, but you may only attend them if you have the ability to bring the required school supplies. No one seems concerned with children who are unable to attend school because the supplies they need are economically inaccessible to them.
Mirian’s sister would like to be a doctor. Like Mirian, there are many challenges standing in the way of her achieving that goal. The necessary school supplies she requires have still not been obtained, either. It is unknown how much longer she will be allowed to attend without them–before she is also sent home.
Lesly, the girls’ mother, dreams that her children will one day be able to attend a university, that they will be able to see their dreams become reality and achieve economic security. With a university education, there is hope that the poverty, in which they live, will be eliminated for the next generation. For Mirian and her three sisters, the dream is tentative at most.
Regardless of the many forces working against them, Lesly manages to remain hopeful. Looking into the faces of her children, you can see why she desperately hangs onto hope that there is a way for the lives of her daughters’ to be easier then the life she now lives. She prays that her family might be blessed with miracles–miracles that would fulfill the needs and desires she is currently unable to provide on her own.
Lesly, is a single mother. She is the sole provider for her five children. Currently, she has temporary work sweeping the village’s sidewalks and streets in the morning. She has a contract for that job lasting two months. When the contract is up, the money from it will also be gone. In the afternoons, she sells vegetables. Her vegetable business was made possible through a loan, on which she is charged 20% interest. In any free time she has, she picks up whatever domestic tasks are available to add even the smallest amount to her income. Caring for a family of six with minimal opportunities for economic growth, is not easy.
The family’s pantry consists of this hanging shelf. Every two days or so, it becomes empty. When they find the food has run out, the already infrequent two meals a day becomes even less frequent. When the situation becomes desperate, they ask for food or money from others. Sometimes, only due to the generosity and kindness of others, they receive help.
The heaviness of her responsibilities, is evident on Lesly’s face. She is only 25-years old. The burdens she carries are wearying. When asked how she would like her life to be different, her response is that she only desires that she could rest. It is a constant struggle to provide the very bare necessities for her children.
Lesly’s daily struggle is tangible, but somehow, there is still joy and hope in the faces of the members of this family. Perhaps, someday, they will receive the miracles for which they have been praying.
Written by Shalyce Cluff; Photography by Jose Miguel Amaya