His mother, Lucia is a single mother. She rents a room from a family near the main tourist market. She sells scarves, table runners and other tipico items to tourists walking in the street. I have been on Calle Santander early in the morning, middle of the day and after dinner in the evening - I always see Lucia working. If she isn't sleeping or eating, she is working. If I had to guess, I bet she works at least 70 hours a week - with a five year old in tow. Tomás attends a free local preschool in the mornings, but the rest of the day, he follows mom and walks the streets of Pana.
We have been helping their family for the last few months. One of their greatest needs is nutritional supplements. My fourth grader is taller than Lucia. She is one the smallest women I have ever seen in Guatemala. Sometimes I overlook her when I am walking in the street, because she is the size of a child. This is primarily due to lack of good nutrition (in addition to petite Guatemalan genes). Tomás is also very small for his age, but the big clue that he lacks sufficient nutrition are his missing front teeth. He has lost all four of his top front teeth to decay and vitamin deficiency. Each week we bring them a few basics, like beans and rice, in addition to some healthy fruits and veggies that they might not buy themselves.
Blowing out candles! He loved to lick the icing best!
Today Tomás cumple (completed) 5 years. For his birthday, we invited them to join us at one of the local soccer fields. We ate burritos and yummy cupcakes. We played soccer and then the big event - ¡PIÑATA! We had a very fun, colorful clown piñata full of candies. (I know - he doesn't need candy since his teeth are rotting out, but I didn't think it would go over to well to fill the piñata with celery sticks.) It was so fun to watch him swing at that clown, but it was even better to watch his mother watching him. She was doubled over laughing at him.
notice - the piñata is actually taller than Tomás
Lucia - delighted to see her boy enjoying the day!
¡Dulces - Candy!
What a privilege to love and celebrate this small family. ¡THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU! to all those who make it possible for us to celebrate sweet Tomás and his mother Lucia. It is our joy and honor to take time out of the middle of the day, in the middle of the week in order to play soccer, eat cake and smash clowns for the purpose of blessing the least of these - all in the name of Jesus. ¡Gracias!
Familia es muy importante!
(Notice that Lucia is smaller than P & AK)