When you look at a map, you’ll see that Central America and the United States of America are neighbors. When you think about your neighbors, I bet you can think of lots of ways they’re like you — and just as many ways they’re different!
Today, we’ll explore neighborhoods all around Central America and the nearby Caribbean islands. We’ll learn about the things that are the same and celebrate the things that are different!
Our first stop is Honduras!
This is Josue. He lives with his mom, dad and little brother. Just like you, Josue needs to drink lots of water, especially after he runs and plays with his friends. But Josue used to have to get water from a river. “The water containers were heavy, but I [carried] the small one. My father and my older brothers used to carry the heavier ones.”
Today, Josue has water at his house because his friends at the Compassion center helped his family install this sink. It may look a little different than yours, but it gives Josue clean water just like you get at home!
Where do you get your water? What would it be like if you had to get water from far away from your home?
What’s your favorite vegetable? Do you grow it in a garden or buy it in a store?
Next, let's go to Mexico!
This is Valentina, and she loves to help her family in their garden! Today, she is picking carrots that her mom, Gloria, will cook for dinner!
Before they had a garden, Valentina’s family didn’t always have food to eat. But now they know that anytime they are hungry, they can go pick the carrots, lettuce, potatoes and squash from their garden, and they will have a delicious meal to eat!
It's time to move on to Nicaragua!
Have you ever seen a piñata at a birthday party? Well, this is Estrella, and she makes piñatas! It all started with an arts and crafts class at her Compassion center. “When I was younger, I would try to make piñatas … with materials I found at home, but I didn’t know how to make them properly. This changed when I started going to the workshop at the center, because the teacher taught me the skills and techniques I needed to make good piñatas,” says Estrella.
Today, Estrella makes piñatas for parties all over her neighborhood! She loves making people smile with her beautiful crafts!
What do you do to keep yourself from feeling lonely or bored? How do you keep yourself active and happy?
Now let's go to El Salvador!
Meet Karla and her grandmother, Nora. Karla has lived with her grandmother since she was a little girl, and one of her favorite things to do is show Nora her soccer skills — and Nora loves to watch! Karla learned how to play soccer at the Compassion center, and her coach says she is very good!
Playing soccer gives Karla something fun to do. She never feels lonely or bored when she’s playing soccer!
Our next step is Guatemala!
How do you get to school? Maybe a car or a school bus? Ivan and Daniela get to school and their Compassion center in a tuk-tuk! It’s a funny word, but basically it’s just a small, three-wheeled car that people around the world use.
“I like the tuk-tuk because it is like a car but tiny. I do prefer it instead of walking in hot weather,” says Ivan.
What’s your favorite way to travel? And who drives you when you go somewhere?
These last two stops are in the Caribbean, a close neighbor of Central America.
What do you want to do when you grow up? What can you do today to make that dream possible?
First up is Haiti!
This is Sophonie — and her two cows! When Sophonie was younger, her Compassion sponsor sent her family a gift of money that they used to buy a goat and a pig. And Sophonie realized she’s really good at taking care of animals! “It’s been a joy for me to take care of our livestock,” she says.
By selling milk from the goat in the market, Sophonie and her mom were able to save up enough money to buy a cow and a calf! Now Sophonie says when she grows up she wants to run a ranch of her own.
And our final stop, the Dominican Republic!
Don’t these kids look like they’re having FUN?! They just finished having a Christmas party at their Compassion center, and they can’t even contain their joy!
It just goes to show that kids everywhere, from your neighborhood all the way to Central America and the Caribbean, love to play, do arts and crafts, eat yummy food and most of all laugh and celebrate with their friends!
Aren’t you glad we’re all neighbors?