For many in La Limonada, stealing seems to be the only employment available. The lack of suitable jobs brings many people to the point of thievery to provide for their families. “Ch” stole from travelers on buses and on the streets to feed her children. Several of her cohorts were arrested for armed assault, but “Ch” was saved from that fate herself. It wasn’t what she wanted, taking from others in order to give to her own, but it felt as if it were the only option available. An opening at the school provided “Ch” with an escape from her former life. The job saved her from what would have been a very destructive lifestyle if continued.
Tita recently asked “Ch” what she considered to be the best day of her life. Her response was the day that she began working at La Escuelita. The escape that it provided for her gave her another chance at life, one that would keep her safe and allow her to feed her children in an honest manner. It is still hard for her though. Her family no longer trusts her, since they are still on the “job” and she refuses to help them anymore. “Ch” is thankful for her new lease on life though, in a job where she is encouraged in her faith and able to live the life that God has planned for her.
The work in the ghetto goes beyond the work with the children. It reaches into the rest of the community, whether it is in the carpentry workshop or providing employment in the schools. The mission behind Lemonade is continuing to change the community, starting with the people themselves.