Chiapas Journey 2 {travel with kids}

{thoughts from a travel journal}
Contributing support to organizations like Melel Xojobal in Chiapas, Mexico is one of the things CID and FWM treasures most. The opportunity to see first-hand how our donations help is a great privilege. Last week's thoughts shared details about Rebecca's visit to the organization. Part of her journey was sharing it with her two sons. She writes her observations as a mom here.

I brought my children, ages nine and six, on our trip to San Cristobal for two reasons. First, I think it is very important for them to understand the work that their mom does. I need for them to grow up believing that giving, either big or small, is second nature to them. It's just something you do. I also wanted them to experience the difference between their lives and the lives of most children living in Chiapas. I had this grand idea that they would absorb this whole other reality and, in turn, they would immediately want to stand up and take action. But they're nine and six and that didn't exactly happen. Not immediately anyway.

When you're on the streets in San Cristobal, it's not uncommon to see children selling trinkets or children as young as eight or nine carrying their siblings on their backs with no parent in sight. Apart from giving my boys a bit of background info on the level of poverty they'd see, I basically just sat back and observed them while in the streets. The results gave me mixed feelings.

I could tell that both sons were confused and upset when they'd see these children. Questions from my nine year old like, "Where are their parents? Why aren't they in school? Why do they want jobs?" popped up immediately. He needed to know what was going on and why these babies aren't being cared for they way he's used to. When I explained to him that this is at times the age they go out to work to support their families, I saw something hit him like a ton of bricks.

Ongoing questions throughout the week told me that they felt something from that experience.

I'm going to go with my heart and say it's compassion.