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Finding Hope in Unlikely Places

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So Close to Home

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By Julia J., Age 15

The one hundred thirteen degree weather was especially harsh in the barren town of Reynosa, where there wasn’t shade in sight. However, the motivation to provide shelter for my new friends compensated for any discomfort caused by the Mexican climate. As Ramón Lopez came towards me I immediately noticed his brown calloused feet walking on the rocky dirt road. He smiled and called out “trabaja!” while handing me his cement-mixing shovel, and then sat down to rest with his two younger brothers. I watched them, marveling at how well they got along, and wondering at what time in American society it had become unacceptable for teenagers to enjoy the company of their younger siblings. I then regained my focus and began the arduous task of mixing cement manually in order to lay the floor for the Lopez’s first legitimate house.

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By Sreeja K., Age 11

One rainy, stormy day, I sat looking out my window. The clouds were dark and gray, as lightning flashed every few minutes. As I sat, tired and bored, my eyes fell upon two little boys. One was about six years old, holding a small, black umbrella with a few bent spokes. The other was about four, hugging the older one and saying, “What are we going to do?” The older one said, “Don’t worry, little brother, we’ll find someone to take us in.” He was smiling at his brother, but at the same time, tears were pouring down his face.

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