Tourists and shoe-shining boy

Tourists and shoe-shining boy

Kids should be in school. In Guatemala there are laws for everything you can imagine, including laws against child labor. Yet there is no enforcement of most laws here; child labor is no exception. In my opinion, this is one of the main reason that makes the countries in the south fall behind. I wonder if these people would allow a kid to work shining their shoes on the streets of their own country?

What do you think?

© 2006 – 2013, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.

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  • Thanks for your post and i hope you could visit us soon, i must confess my acknowledge about Guatemala is very weak but i count with you to help me;)

    Absolutely agree with you, if those kids working in big companies like nike are hidden in these case is different because we can see, but good news today i read that for the first time the child labour as been reduced in the world.

  • Glad to see a blog from Central America. I like your photo subjects. Perhaps the tourists thought they were being charitable? It is a sad fact many people will regret poverty and human suffering like child labor in another country but still buy from Nike and Walmart and similar companies, knowing people suffered in the production of those goods.

  • Your photos are great, I enjoy your explanations too. I know little about Guatemala, so look forward to finding out more.

    It will be great to find out more about coffee and cafes from the Guatemalan perspective.

  • Oh cool photo! Welcome to the family! Looking forward to all your photos =)

  • Welcome and what a wonderful eye you have of Antigua! I will be back here often. I esp. loved your Tuk-Tuk entry.

    Kuala Lumpur Daily Photo

  • I want to thank Nuno, Louz, Louise, Anne and Edwin for visiting and their kind comments.

  • Pingback: Antigua Guatemala Daily Photo » Blog Archive » Antigua’s child labor()

  • This Is Kinda Confusing Is It A Bad Thing? Oh Wait Nevermind I Guess It Is But Like You People Do Know That We Support Slave Labour Everyday Think About It. Like Even The Adult’s Of Slave Labour Need School’s No Just Kid’s I’m Not Making Much Sense I Think I’ll Just Leave…

  • This child must be far luckier than others who are enrolled in guerilla armies where children of his age can’t find such a gorgeous tourist to shine her shoes

  • Baller

    A cynic is only a frustrated optimist.

  • Diane

    Yes, people probably think it is being charitable. But I have to tell a story: when we were in Guatemala in 2005 adopting our son, we spent a month in Antigua. The little boys were in the park every day wanting to shine our shoes. We were not wearing shoes that could be shined but the older boy continued to plead with us and we kept explaining that our shoes couldn’t be shined. Finally my husband apologized and we got up to walk away and the the older boy said “F#@* You!”

    I wanted to give the smaller boy some money anyway, but I feared the older boy would be mean to him and take it away. We were wondering if their parents punish them if they don’t come back home with a certain amount of money?

  • 218 children worldwide work under unhuman conditions as slaves. We all have to fight against child labour by not supporting companies who are consciously involved in slavery or not letting kinds cleaning shoes.

  • This is a very unfortunate matter; however, we all can do something against “jobs” like this: Do not encourage them!
    It is very sad because on one hand, I would like to help every one of these kids, and on the other, I realize that unscrupulous adults who send them to work force them, and as far as I know, they punish them if they do not produce enough money along the day. Whenever I have the opportunity, I prefer to give them something to eat, even if it is only a piece of candy.
    Interested in the problem? Open your eyes, mind, and heart, and look in your own community; I am sure there are plenty of well organized groups where you could volunteer offering the resources you are able to share: time, money, food, used clothes, toys… It is not that difficult!

  • Pingback: Good News from Guatemala: Helping The Shoe Shine Kids()

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  • matt

    Maybe we are thinking wrong way, unfortunately, in those country, child labor is a normal fact, so maybe the tourist just wanted to help the child giving him his “daily money earn by working day”

    • You are right Matt, that’s another way to look at it.