The orphanage

May 31, 2011

We took a trip to the Aldeas Orphanage during our trip and it was one of my favorite excursions by far. I love kids anyway, but it was a lot of fun to spend the day with these children (not to mention moving). What I found most interesting was the organization of the orphanage. Unlike orphanages in the United States (at least the orphanages that come to mind when we hear the word), the Aldeas Orphanage is a much more stable and homey environment in which these children can live. It is a compound instead of an institution-like building, with several houses on the property organized in a village-like manner. Each house has a “mother” and a small group of children  that live in it. This way they are more able to maintain a familial structure in order to promote healthy growth and development in the children there. We were told that they all attend regular public schools also, instead of going to school within the orphanage. Again, this way they are able to preserve normal relationships not only among the children there but also in society as a whole. They are not growing up in an isolate community, but participating as fully as any other child in the community’s social development.


They didn’t all speak english, in fact most of them didn’t speak it at all, but we had a great time showing them how to do things, how to use the toys we brought them and chasing them around the yard.


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