Scholarships for students in developing countries help fund costs of attending school and enable them to accomplish their career goals. Our scholarship program was designed to reward students who are working hard and who take their education seriously. One of our requirements, aside from maintaining high grades, is to put in four hours of community service per month during the school year.
Many of our students choose to do activities with the little kids – reading, drawing, playing games – but one of our students is doing something unique. He’s helping his grandfather sell vegetables.
Julio lives across the road from his grandfather, Julian, who buys and sells tomatoes by the kilo, walking door to door every day in the surrounding communities. It’s hard work trekking through dirt roads, up and down stone-filled hills under the scorching Baja sun, carrying pails filled with tomatoes. When the pails are empty, the grandfather hurries back to his home where he weighs more tomatoes and bags them.
Once a week, Julio helps his grandfather, accompanying him on his trek. The money the grandfather makes supports his wife and himself and also feeds Julio and his two brothers lunch while Julio’s mother works.
For Julio and his grandfather, it’s more than just fulfilling Julio’s community service. It’s a time of bonding for grandfather and grandchild. When the two are together, the love between them is palpable.
A Conversation with Julio
Julio: I live with my mother, my twin brother and younger brother. We recently moved here from another Mexican state. I have an older brother who still lives there.
J: I was happy to move. I thought things would be better for me to move, not worse, because all my family lives here. School is much easier here. Where I used to live, there are rivers, but here, there are beaches. I’ve even been to the beach twice.
CFKLP: Why is education important to you?
CFKLP: What are your dreams for your future?
CFKLP: What do you do in your spare time?
J: I play soccer and, when I’m bored, I draw.
CFKLP: What does poverty mean to you?
J: A lack of resources like money, food, clothing. I have lots of friends whose houses don’t have windows. They’re cold and don’t have enough blankets. Compared to others, we’re not poor. We have enough food. I eat at my grandmother’s who lives across the road from us. My mom gives her money to help with the food and so we all eat.
CFKLP: You have a beautiful heart, Julio.
CFKLP: If you were the President of Mexico, what would you change to make Mexico a better country?
CFKLP: What would you like to say to the readers before we close this interview?