Through a woman I had met via an NGO, I was introduced to this family in San Martin. The matriarch earned her living by doing laundry and actually asked me to take photos of her performing her duties, she was so proud to be a productive bread winner.
The patriarch was living elsewhere at the moment. He had been shot again, this the fifth time, and was recovering as he could not use his arm well.
The oldest daughter had a tragic story but one that was maybe indicative of the challenges faced by those that grow up and live in an area of have nots and a future that seems to have no viable options. She had met this drug dealer and he had a motorbike, his own apartment, a refrigerator, a TV. All the trappings of a significant step up in class for the daughter. Even though she was a teenager, she moved in with him and ended up being a prisoner of his for a year, trapped in that apartment.
The woman from the NGO searched for her and after months finally found her and rescued her, reuniting her with her family. The infant daughter she is holding is her child from her captor.
I do not normally do this for many reasons, but I asked my friend if the mother of the family was solid and trustworthy. Most of the times, it is the men that are the absent troublemakers and the mothers are the foundations of the families and the barrios. She said that, yes, she is wonderful and strong mother.
I happened to foolishly have a lot of cash on me at that moment. I just forgot that I had been carrying around all this currency.
I gave the entire wad to the mother before I left.