We all know the feeling of panic when someone is about to come over and we don’t think our house is clean enough. Can you imagine trying to clean up your dirt floors, soot covered rooms and rusty tin walls? Well, that is the situation everyday for the families in Ocosito.
Ocosito is a charming place, surrounded by rubber trees and nestled between two rivers called Ocos and Ixmay which drive the local economy. The village isn’t far from the Pacific coastline and a five hour winding drive from Guatemala City. The intense heat and high humidity make the village of Ocosito a place of sweat and tears.
The current lifecycle in the village is defeating, yet villagers’ smiles beam and their hope is building. With only an elementary school in the village and no further public education offered, children start their working career at age 12. The majority of the men work in industrial sugar cane and rubber tree farms while a small percentage earn a living in specific trades like blacksmithing. The women raise their families, tend to livestock and help earn a living by selling wares, small produce and fresh tortillas.
The village is a young one in US standards with 48% of the population under the age of 17. It’s no secret that children in the village grow up early and face the same problems of their ancestors. Women and children spend long days making tortillas on inefficient stoves so the very tortillas that are their livelihood cause a lifelong struggle with respiratory problems. All villagers are prone to digestive issues because of the polluted water sources.The situation has to improve!
Location: 14°32'56.2"N 91°41'33.3"W
Elevation: 787 FT
Women to Men: 1 to 1