|Shoeshine boys - a common sight in Sucre|
|A car window washer|
|A newspaper seller|
Working at such a young age can have a tremendous psychological and physical impact on a child's development. Working kids are usually out on the streets by themselves or with other working kids without a real support network, access to nutritious food or any healthy adult guidance. The social workers are trying to fill this void and they have kindly let me tag along with them for a few days.
|Applying lotion to a child worker's face|
|Playing in the central plaza|
|Having a class of working children is just an accepted part of Bolivian society. Here a girl with her mother enjoying an afternoon in the plaza is paying for their shoeshine.|
|One Saturday afternoon the kids take a short break from working to play soccer|
|Working on the peatonal|
|Selling newspapers outside the central market|
|A meeting of NNATs held at the cemetery chapel.|
Parents were invited but very few showed up.
|Working almost all his life he is now President of Sucre's association of child workers. Recently, he represented the entire province at a national conference of child workers in La Paz.|
|On a ladder helping a family to maintain the grave|
|Ladders at the ready near the cemetery entrance|
The social workers are also starting to have contact with kids working outside of town mainly at the airport and in the neighborhood, La Jastamo. At Sucre's airport there are a group of kids (almost all boys) who shine shoes, help carry luggage or wash parked cars for small tips. The day I visit the airport we are there to pass out invitations for the upcoming field trip. About nine of them end up going on the excursion and having a great time.
|These boys normally would be working at the airport today|
|This green muck is used by some residents of La Jastamo as a water source for things like washing clothes.|
It is pretty quiet the day that I visit La Jastamo. The fourteen year old ringleader is not there when we arrive, so the three boys who are here today feel freer to chat with us, make fun of my North American accent, and play some board games in between cleaning the buses. I think with some time and perseverance Judith and Ludmila will be able to really help the kids and families here.
|Playing board games in the bus parking area|
Besides taking photos for the organization, I have also decided that I will try to take portraits as a gift to the kids. Just by the sheer numbers of kids working in Sucre this ends up being a daunting and impossible task to complete. I think every other day that I am out I see a new kid performing some task for money. Since my hotel is in the center of town every day I am passing some of the main areas where kids are working. Because of timing and the kids erratic schedules I have contact with some that the social workers have not met yet. When I leave town I hand Judith and Ludmila a stack of photos that still need to be handed out.
|Looking at their new photos|
If you have not had the chance yet, it would be great if you could check out my post about volunteering with Ñanta, an organization helping working kids in Sucre click here
To see my previous photography work about child labor in several other countries click here