August 30, 2009

Who works and who plays on Sunday afternoons in the park

August 30, 2009

After spending most of the day inside yesterday, today, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather in Guatemala City and venture outside. Just a few blocks from our house is Avenida la Reforma, which is closed to cars on Sundays – making it a haven for pedestrians, cyclists, and skaters.

We made our way to Avenida la Reforma around 1pm. We walked for a couple of blocks until we reached the Obelisco. On the other side of the Obelisco, Avenida de la Reforma turns into Avenida las Americas, which has a huge divider down the middle where children can play.

The first thing the girls wanted to do was to go horseback riding. We had no trouble finding one of the groups of people who rent out horses for kids to ride. After their getting their horse-riding fix, we went to the huge playground that is on Avenida las Americas.
On a Sunday afternoon, it is full of families. Although it is a park, it is a space for play for some, yet for work for others. In addition to the families having their picnics and the kids using the playground equipment, there were many people trying to make some money on a Sunday afternoon. There was a man who rents out bicycles. Tatiana and Soraya were happy to see that, as they had been asking for their bikes all afternoon.
There were also many people selling toys, peanuts, cds, phone chargers, and all sorts of other things.
As we were sitting, watching the children play, a boy came up to us and asked if we wanted to buy some of the pirated dvds he was selling. I asked him how old he was. He was eleven, and has been selling dvds since he was ten. I noticed that a lot of the boys selling dvds were quite young. One was no taller than Tatiana and Soraya. He told me he was ten years old.

For some, the park is a place of play. For others it is a place of work. For some, childhood is about playing most of the time. For others, it is about working most of the time.

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