The sun does not rise the same for everyone

Child Labor in Guatemala by Rudy Giron - <a href="" ></a>

Over six years ago I pondered about the future of Guatemala and its child labor force: The future of a society is with the children and their education and preparation. What kind of future awaits for Guatemala when its children are on the streets working to survive today. What kind of education and preparation will its labor force have in ten or twenty years? I posted another photo of a child at work on May 7th, 2006 and almost every year since then.

It is very disturbing to me to see children working to survive today instead of being in school and have the minimum provided to them. By the way, child labor is ilegal in Guatemala and school is mandatory for children under 16. As you can see, neither is enforced by the governmental ministries.

Sadly, very little has changed for the less privileged children of Guatemala in the last six years.

© 2012, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • angie

    I know It’s very sad to see this kids working in such a young age, they can’t enjoy being kids. I think its there parents irresponsibility why are they having so many kids if they can’t afford to support them.

  • El Canche

    It is natural to hope for a better life for our children, but over here in the UK, education is no longer assuring better jobs. Over the last decade, people have left managerial professional and office jobs to become plumbers and electricians; even albaniles as they earn more that way.Many graduates in Latin America have to emigrate from their home countries to find opportunity and a true outlet for their skills. As long as the kid in your picture can be good at something and go about it with the right attitude he can do fine.

  • Norm Kwallek

    Canche has a bit of a point. My son went to school and got an Engineering Degree but has made far more money with the skills I taught him as a carpenter. This is nothing new. When I left high school, my Grandfather was an Administrator in a High School, he earned about $7,500 a year. Myself working in a sweatshop rubber mill made $10,500. right out of high school. There were many there who had left school after 8th grade pulling down far more because they were setting up the machines instead of running them. My point is that work training/ on the job training can be better paying than the academic sort for some people. As always, it boils down to policy, developing programs where kids who must work to eat get placed in programs where they can earn while they learn. Good workmanship is not always natural, it needs to be taught in many cases. I look at the plaster work in Antigua, it is all over the place in quality. You do not need much formal education to be a good plasterer but once you’re good you’ll never rest again until you want to. Life is hard, teaching kids a trade costs money but it is a policy worth advancing.

  • Erick!

    Rudy, great photo. Having spent some of my early childhood years in Guate, I know exactly what you mean and it is sad to see kids having to work from such early age. It’s not just that they’re working, which true, they may be learning a skill, but it’s more about them never having the opportunity to go to school and become something else, or just the opportunity to have a normal childhood.

  • Eric

    You make a good point, Rudy. Most of my time in Guate. is spent around the tiny workforce, pictured here. However, my experience has been, that LAGDP encourages people to see Guate. for themselves. And when those of us who don’t live there visit, we want to visit again. And when we visit again, we make close friends. And when we make close friends, we start asking about schooling, and maybe how can we work with the local schools to reach the ‘smaller’ laborers. And when THAT happens … as you say, “Stay tuned !” 😀

  • Tom de NY

    I was looking through older posts when I just noticed something in this picture: look at the wall behind him! He’s in front of a colegio, which makes this picture all the more powerful

    • Good eye Tom; I took this photo with that intention.

      El 4/12/2012, a las 15:56, Disqus escribió:
      [image: DISQUS]

      • Tom de NY

        Vaya pues esto la hace mejor aun!