There are so many poor on the streets that we want to help in Sucre Bolivia that we don’t know where to start. The old city is glorious, but as we visit we pass many old ladies and men sitting and begging. Dogs wander the streets, but it is the begging children that we are drawn to.
Poor On The Streets
Here the food is so inexpensive. Fresh home-made crisps/chips and popcorn is a great snack for 50 cents or a $1 a bag.
While we are at the markets, my son sees a lady mistreating her small child. He has bruises and sores on his face. It is pretty obvious from the whimpers that he has been bashed. Explorason goes straight up and tells her in his limited Spanish to STOP. Several times I have seen him do this, and it always works too. Good on him I say! Sometimes we see mistreated animals, and I can’t help myself, I have to go up and tell them to stop if they are abusing them. It is horrible to watch, and it really upsets me.
So, we find a great athletic store for new clothes. We have always wanted Gortex jackets, and we get two for under $100.
Random Acts Of Kindness
So we decide to go out and find some local people on the streets to give our ‘almost new’ warm jackets away to. The ones we had bought for Uyuni Salt Flats.
We find a family peeling and stripping corn cobs on a street corner. My son selects this boy as his choice. He was quite dirty from his chores and so pleased to have the jacket.
We were about to wander off and up walks his sister. With the mother’s prompting, this teenager tries on my jacket. She is shy, but she puts it on and it is a near perfect fit.
Ice Cream Seller
Next is this lady (shown above) who once again reminds us that there are so many poor on the streets. There is a bus strike and she has few customers for her ice-cream sales. My son runs up to the little girl to see how he can be kind to them. We notice the lady also has a baby. We talk about how blessed we are, and how little others have. How hard this mother must work for a few Bolivianos.
Our Favorite Local Child
This little beggar girl that stole our hearts. Over a few days, she has run up and held her hand out to us. She seems alone but I think her Grandma might be in the distance.
Incredibly dirty, yet the happiest little beggar I have seen. First off my son wants to give her his pocket money as he so loves children. They laugh and tickle each other and have a great time. Explorason is amazing, and he does not judge. (After he comes for the antiseptic gel for his hands though).
Local Life in Sucre
Just out of town, many live in old and run-down conditions. There is a complete mix of old and new architecture here in Sucre. You can ride the bus for 15 cents and it is a classic golden oldie so getting around is very affordable!
Most people shop in the markets and we find we do that too and there is a major market area quite close to where we are staying. People sell anything they can find on the street corners on a little mat.
Our Little Friend
Again on our last day, we find our favorite little beggar girl. Explorason and her both race straight up to each other and have their ‘tickle and laugh’ time together.
Explorason now does something I will never forget. He asks me if he can go and buy her an ice cream from his pocket money. He races off and finds her a nice chocolate covered ice cream from a tourist gourmet chocolate store. It’s probably the most expensive ice cream she will ever eat, but he wants to make her feel special. We head straight back and find her and she is talking with an old beggar nearby. Explorason passes her his ice cream gift.
Giving to those who can never repay you are the real joys of travel. I think it is more joy to us than to those that receive sometimes. I know that we cannot change the world, and we cannot change a city; nor can we change a suburb. But we can help to change a few minutes of a little girls life.
We wonder what will happen to this little girl. She is sadly learning how to beg so young and is a tool her family uses whilst she is cute. As we stand with her at the end of our time we pray for her. I pray she grows up to have love and care in her life. We hope she gets a good education, and one day even a good job. I pray that the light in her smile doesn’t die out as it is just amazing and gives her life and vitality in the saddest of situations.
Enriched By Others
Because this little girl’s smile lit our lives and touched our hearts, we feel richer for blessing her.
If you are reading this, I hope you appreciate what you do have in life. There is always someone worse off than you are. Reach out and try each day to do one kind thing. At the end of the year, you have touched 365 lives. Do some small thing to make someone else’s life a little happier. It will give you joy, and lighten up your spirit.
We thank Arturo and his staff at Hostelling International Sucre for their excellent prices, great service, and help when we had delays in this town – a wonderful man.