Lemonade International Blog

Gangs, Guns, Kids… and Hope

There are about ten different “barrios” (or neighborhoods) in La Limonada and all of them are ruled by gangs. Violence has been a way of life especially for the young men there. Boys join gangs when they are as young as 13 years old.

One gang will kill the member of another gang which sparks revenge… and the killing will go back and forth. A cycle that seems out of control with no end in sight.

In the past few days, 15 and 16 year-old gang members were caught showing 10 and 11 year-old boys how to fire a shotgun.

But recently a team from a church in the States was in the ghetto and some of the gang members were asked what they thought of them coming to La Limonada… and the gang members said, “It gives us hope that we will change someday”.

Just yesterday Tita and I were talking about our dream to have workshops in the ghetto to teach the gang members a trade so they have hope of doing something productive with their lives to support themselves. And today a man named Julio told Tita he wanted to teach carpentry to the boys in the ghetto. He gave her a list of tools he would need to start a program.

So, the next step is to gather the tools needed to help give these boys hope that will inspire them to believe that the killing isn’t necessary.

Hope that life can be different for them…

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