Home Visit With
the de Jesus Family of Comunidad Garatachea
By Elizabeth D. Howard
All the students at Escuela Pedro Ascencio live in the Garatachea Community. As you can see by their names, most of their families are closely related. The de Jesus house sits high upon the hill behind the school, about a 5 minute walk on a dirt path through woods and under fences. The family of 5 shares the 1 room house. This picture is taken on the front porch. Noemi (8) and Gustavo (11) are pictured here with and their cousins. They spend hours together.
Noemi led us to the "cocina" (kitchen) which is a separate wood building. People
cook with the small, smoky wood stoves, like the one shown. Due to the smoke and the risk of fire, the kitchen
is not connected to the house. Naomi's mother had been inside and she greeted us warmly when we arrived. Although
it was a bright, sunny day, the kitchen which was dark and smoky inside. But it was warm! This is where the family
gathers, around the cooking fire, whenever the weather is cold. There is no other heat, and nights are very damp--and
temperatures commonly hover close to freezing.
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