Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The boy and his chain

The young boy smiled as he sat down next to the tree he was chained to. The chain that wrapped around his ankle and was secured with a padlock gave the mentally-handicapped boy a five-foot radius to move around.

His mother was across the yard spinning rope on a manual weaving machine. The boy's sister -- also mentally disabled -- stood next to their house, watching the activity from a distance.

When the group of 30 Hearts in Motion volunteers filed into his yard, the young boy jumped up and waved. Upon seeing their cameras he shouted, "Foto!" and smiled for their pictures.

Earlier that day, when a few Hearts in Motion volunteers brought medicine over to his house for his mother, they asked her if they could bring the large group over later in the day. The woman had enthusiastically agreed, eager to show her family, her home and her livelihood to a group of tourists.

Because of her children's condition, the woman is confined to her home, which is 25 minutes from the nearest paved road. Therefore in order to make a living to support her family, she makes rope.

The boy's mother watches her relatives stretch the rope across the yard.
The rope, which she sells for what is equivalent to 75 U.S. cents, is made from white strings that were once used to hold bushels of bananas in Ecuador. The strings, which would otherwise be thrown out, instead are woven together into a thick, white rope.

While the mother showed the volunteers how the rope was made, stretching and pulling it across the yard to make it tighter, her son sat next to his tree, smiling.

1 comment:

  1. These stories are amazing and break my heart at the same time. I appreciate you sharing your adventure.