We recently watched the film Boyhood, one of the film with more nominations and awards and a good contender for the Oscars. Boyhood follows the life a kid, Mason, from age 5 to age 18; that’s 12 years. My first thought was, what has become of the little shoe-shine kid I photographed 9 years ago. It would be interesting to find him again and learn more about him and about his life through the years since I captured him as a boy of six or seven years of age holding his entire business enterprise on his right hand while being drenched by the rain. Where should I start?
I have spoken against child labor in Guatemala many times before through the years; almost from the very beginning of AntiguaDailyPhoto. Here are some fragments taken from the posts found in the archives of AntiguaDailyPhoto.
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.
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?
What I learned from these kids is that rock climbing is possible in La Antigua Guatemala; child labor still present in Antigua and I don’t know if ever it will be eradicated; regardless of the labor conditions, kids will find a way to play. Good for them!
How can we expect a better future as a country if our future is on the streets working instead of in school preparing to make a better nation?
Over six years ago I pondered about the future of Guatemala and its child labor force. Sadly, very little has changed for the less privileged children of Guatemala in the last six years.
© 2015, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.