The minors come from towns such as San Pedro Itzicán and Mezcala; while their mothers sell nopales, they walk along the boardwalk singing and throwing themselves in the water to get money
” What you like to tip!” Shouts Lalito, about 10 years old, skinny and with big eyes, before diving into Chapala Lake, while pointing to the shirt he took off and used to hold his coins.
” Tell me, bartender, you who know of sorrows, how many drinks do I drink to forget about her? She exchanged me for some coins. Today she wants to come back, better that she not to come back, ” Martin, seven, and her sister two years older than him, sitting next to the ropes, on the boardwalk, while hanging Martin’s shirt.
The statue of Jesus Pescador, and the tourists who walk on his boardwalk look at them. There is a show on both sides: they sing and throw themselves into the water.
– ” What cool eyes, that pretty young girl has that I’m looking at. A look, that is killing me,” the brothers continue to sing.
The diver only got two pesos, while the singers managed five pesos.
They are not the only children who ask for money at the boardwalk of the municipality but from surrounding towns such as Ajijic, San Antonio, and Riberas del Pilar, because according to the municipality there are between 25 and 30 children in this situation.
All from San Pedro Itzicán and Mezcala, from the municipality of Poncitlán. They have been coming for a year. All in situations of extreme poverty and vulnerability.
“We arrived in the truck at about nine in the morning and we left at about six in the afternoon, but sometimes we didn’t get much.” I think about 70 pesos, but today nothing and it’s already two in the afternoon, Lola laments hugging her blue bag in which she keeps the money.
They attend every weekend and daily on vacation. They accompany their mothers, who sell nopales in any space where they can be installed. While they, they say, ask for money to collect for their supplies and uniforms.
Vulnerable poor children of Chapala enjoy the lake in the morning, before asking for money, but they never carry a towel to dry. They let the sun do their thing, although at first there cold.
– ” How many times I told you crying, do not play with me, or lie to me, because you are going to stay in the street, lying and lost selling your life .” they sing
The group sings with them at the top of their lungs, but they give them nothing and walk to the statue of Jesus Fisher. They try their luck from a selection with different songs of love and heartbreak.
For his part, Lalito stays in his place, but every time he climbs the stone again to throw himself a dive, he repeats, pointing to his shirt: “Whatever you would like to tip!”
Municipality seeks to help families
According to the City of Chapala, in order to prevent children from being exploited labor, since they had knowledge of the situation they have visited the places they frequent to talk with them and their moms.
“We inform them that children cannot be working, that they have to be studying and we can see how we can help them.”
They also seek to approach the Integral Family Development System (DIF) closest to their municipality to review the programs and scholarships they have to support them.
The town hall barely noticed five months ago the children asking for money in the surroundings of the Chapala boardwalk.
The Mazatlan Post