The Orpanage of El Tunco

Trip Start Nov 05, 2007
1
12
17
Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of El Salvador  ,
Saturday, April 12, 2008

I have just recently began volunteering at the local orphanage here in El Tunco, El Salvador. I noticed it one day when I was out for a walk, and decided to pop my head in and ask if they could use some help.  They were overjoyed that I was offering my time, and jumped on the opportunity.
I have been working there for two weeks now Monday to Friday for four hours a day. I am involved with the young children from ages of 1 year to 3 years old.  In the little house where I work we have 14 children who are living there, and in the orphanage in total there are nearly 60 children up to the age of 18.
The orphanage is in a serious state of need due to the low economy in El Salvador and the high poverty rate. This orphanage relies soley on public donations for both food, clothing and supplies. There are only 8 people who are working to feed and care for all the children, and then they have some volunteer teachers who teach the school age children in a half built school.  It is pretty amazing to see how they get by on what little they have.
This experience has definetly been a very emotional, but rewarding feeling. The children all suffer from various behavioural problems and most have been abandoned by their parents, taken from the home due to drugs or sexual abuse, or because their parents have died. The children rarely are adopted, and once at the orphanage, they are there until they are 18.
By working there my personal goal is to try to provide some of the children with the love and support that they do not receive. I am teaching them how to do simple things such as sharing, playing nicely, personal hygiene, and helping them to release their emotions through art and creativity instead of agression.
I have just started within the village of El Tunco where Rustin and I are staying a fundraiser to try to raise some money to buy the children books (as they have absolutely none) to read, new educational toys, clothing, personal hygiene supplies such as toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, etc.. and shoes as many of them are shoeless. 
Many of the children are beginning to open up to me and when they see me now they run and jump on me and smother me with hugs. It is rare that they get the attention that I am able to provide them with. 
My gramma is such an amazing woman that she is diligently knitting her little dolls so that I can get them down here some how and give them to the children. It is rare that they receive something new or something to call there own.
I will keep you all updated on the progress of my adventures at the orphanage. Here are some photos to check out of my experiences

Jenn
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