Rancho San Francisco
Rancho San Fransisco is a place like so many others here. It is a small community made up of make shift dwellings, built on the "Ranchero's" land, by the field workers. Diseased skinny dogs wander through the dirt sniffing for morsels of sustenance, clothes dry strung across string and stick fences, the air smells of cooking fires and dust. Barefoot children in ill fitting, ragged clothing usually come running as the van drives slowly down the rows of homes giving 2 quick honks. The children know what those honks mean. Every Friday afternoon a friend of ours, a 24 year old young woman, arrives with food, hugs, and prizes for Bible verses learned that week. We had the privilege of joining her on her visit. We had visited Rancho San Fransisco last December and participated in a little Christmas drama and pinata fiesta so many of the faces were familiar.
As we drove up to the little church, a construction of plywood and plastic, we wondered where all the children were. Then off in the distance we spotted them practicing for their Revolution day parade. Instead of the little Bible class our friend usually does with the children, we decided to just be spectators.
This little rag tag group of kids were all thrilled to be a part of something bigger than themselves as they paraded their national pride. This is such a fun holiday here...I love the costumes.
The littlest ones were wearing the typical revolutionary costumes and doing their little dance.
Others did acrobatics and marching.
It was ridiculously cute.
The kids here in Mexico wear uniforms to school but often in the "rancho" schools where the poorest children attend they are more relaxed about the uniform rules.
The blue building is a school that a group came and built a few years ago.
Once the children headed back to the school we returned to the church to start setting up the supper. We started with cups of milk with a peanut butter coated spoon in each...then when they finished that we had hot homemade soup to fill their cup with.
I left the two youngest children home with Nathanael but brought Aili and Roman along. They were great little helpers filling up the cups, scooping peanut butter, and gathering garbage.
Our friend who will soon be returning home to California after three years spent serving and loving the people here in Baja. This young lady has a huge heart and the kids at the Rancho obviously adore her. It's more than just a come and go, pass out stuff and leave outreach ministry. This woman, and others who come with her, build relationships with the children and the families here. Like little rays of light and warmth in a hard cold place.
A little one enjoying a spoonful of cacahuate (peanut butter)
Once we began to serve up the soup (in the big white jug) I didn't have time for snapping pictures. Aili did snag the camera and take a few though. It was a lot of fun and thankfully we had plenty to go around and I was able to give the kids lots of refills.