The dump has continued to get smaller over the past year. Construction is under way to build a recycling center in the dump, which will employ local workers, but the construction which started last year, seems to be going very slow.
When we arrived in the dump, we stopped at the local school, and visited with some children for a short time, while Dan spoke to us about what caused people to stay in La Chureca. The loss of value in their life, the struggle of rules in the outside world, the fear of rejection, like an abused woman who goes back to her abuser, or a drug addict who cant kick the habit after a near death overdose, these hold the people of the dump captive. In a cycle of constant struggle. With little chance of freedom, until their spirit is healed.
WE met a woman named Jessenia, (not Dans’ wife) who is living with AIDS. The Doctors give her only a few more years to live. She recently was given her own home in the dump, and she invited us in with pride, to a small shack, that I fear could barely hold up to a heavy wind. She invited us in, and as she told us her story, I was struck by the faith that this woman posses. She believes that God will heal her, and that alone, shows a stronger faith than I have. After a 10 or so hot stifling minutes, we walked outside and prayed with her before we continued on our way through the dump. For us a moment of insight into her world and disease, for her a life fraught with the knowledge that this virus will end up taking her life. Very possibly sooner, rather than later.