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Posts Tagged ‘La Limonada’

Home Coming

Picture a boy about 14 years old, tall for his age, and extremely handsome. This boy is extremely charming and has a gorgeous smile that captivates everyone who meets him. All he knows is the streets of La Limonada, violence, a neglectful parent, his brothers and sisters, and the gangs. This boy, who we will call ‘H’ grew up going to the Limon school in La Limonada. From the time he was a small child, he had always been able to come to the school for a healthy meal every day, he learned to take care of his hygiene, he had a great number of people who loved and cared for him. At the end of the day, though, ‘H’ had to return to his one room home, a neglectful mother, and several siblings all sharing the same bed.

Eventually, the streets caught up with ‘H’… he joined the gang, and shortly after, was caught robbing and put into jail. ‘H’ also had a gun on him at the time of his arrest that was used to commit a murder, not of his own hands. His time in prison was undetermined, some friends and I spoke of this very thing this morning.

This morning on our walk to the Limon school ‘H’ greeted us with a big smile. He was released from jail last night and was accompanying his mother to deliver his nieces and nephew to the school for the morning session. One by one, the teachers of the Limon school came to work this morning to find ‘H’, a free man standing in front of us… no longer the boy that we knew a year ago. His smile was the same, but his demeanor was different. He was hardened, he kept looking over his shoulder, he was kind of shifty. His mother sitting to the side beaming at his presence, a permanent smile on her face. Every move ‘H’ made, was closely monitored by his, suddently-overprotective, mother. I couldn’t stop staring at her, and it nearly brought tears to my eyes.

As the morning went on, my concerns grew for ‘H’… as did the concerns of the other teachers that I spoke with. Was he planning on staying in La Limonada? Luckily, ‘H’ knows that he’s not entirely safe in these streets that he played in just a year or so ago. His time in jail did not release him from the gang, and we learned that he was planning to stay with his mother for just a day or two before finding a new place to live. One of the teachers asked him what his plans were… if he thought of going back to school (since he has just a 2nd grade education) or to find work. He didn’t have any answers to these questions, at least not yet.

Please keep ‘H’ and his family in your thoughts and prayers, that he will continue to move forward and not find his way back to the streets of La Limonada.

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