Life is rough when sleeping in the sewer is safer than the street
Narconon drug rehabilitation and life skills programs for street children are being delivered in several states in Mexico, Honduras, and other Latin American countries. Street children are usually understood to mean ‘homeless’ –working and sleeping on the streets, out of touch with family. But it also can mean just poor and working the streets, begging, selling whatever, but still sleeping at home.
“Selling whatever they must is the shame of it,” says Clark Carr, president of Narconon International, who has delivered training workshops to drug rehabilitation and social programs across northern and southern Mexico. “One rehab director told me,” he continues angrily, “that he had refused $5000 U.S. from a drug cartel to ‘buy 10 children’ from his center so they could ‘work them on the street.’ You think of poor children selling “chicles” gum. Now you can add selling “information” that they overhear from persons in restaurants or wherever the children beg. Or carrying drugs in their little backpacks.”
Worse, many homeless children have to sell their bodies. It makes us shudder to think what they learn to survive. “I met two charming children,” says Carr, “7 and 9 years old, who had been rescued from sleeping in the sewer…because it was safer than the street, they said. One boy still had marks on his forehead from rat bites.”
UNICEF approximates that more than 40 million children live or work the streets in Latin America, escaping from homes where the parents divorce or separate. Not so much poor families as where the parents are addicts or in jail. Or where there is physical abuse.
90% of street children are estimated by UNICEF to be addicted to inhalants, especially aromatic glues, shoe glue, paint thinner, gasoline. This can produce irreversible brain damage unless one knows how to reduce the young body’s toxic burden. Narconon of Georgia trained an orphanage in Honduras in the Narconon sauna detoxification protocol of vitamins, minerals, exercise, and repeated sweating in low-heat, dry saunas to cleanse the body. Those children who chronically had fought or run away to get glue to which they were addicted, reported the orphanage, after the sauna sessions were healthier and happier, more friendly with renewed interest in learning.
The Narconon First Step Program is now being used by dozens of centers in at least three Mexican states. It uses nutrition, too, but also teaches communication skills and how to collect one’s dispersed, distracted attention to “come more into present time” and other techniques. A significant component is a book called The Way to Happiness, a guide to common sense, ethical life choices. Volunteer teacher Paty Capaceta opened a little school for neighborhood children in Mazatlan. “Following the 21 precepts of The Way to Happiness,” she says, “the children find something good, something shining in their lives. They learn they can flourish and prosper. And they can.”
For further information on the Narconon Program or the Narconon First Step, visit www.narconon.org.