Day 3: Aimee’s Reaction to Child Labor

In the United States, child labor is not something that is often confronted. There, children are devoted to their schoolwork and having fun. Most people from the US would probably think of putting your child to work as a form of abuse. Here in the Dominican Republic, however, we have encountered quite of bit of child labor. We have learned that sometimes parents will even send their children off on the streets while they stay at home and do nothing. Of course my reaction to this is, “what kind of person would do that?” If I had kids I would want them to be educated, and I definitely would not put them to work, where they could get hurt. But, at the same time, I can somewhat understand if the child’s family cannot otherwise get by without the extra money; they could possibly need it to eat. The boys who make coconut jewelry at Caminante also work, but this seems different as well because they would otherwise be on the street, which is more dangerous. They even get a sense of accomplishment by making the jewelry, which we saw. The work with the machines (to polish the coconuts) did seem like a lot for such young kids, but at the same time they seemed to know what they were doing, and were very careful about where they placed their hands. In this kind of situation, the children working seems okay- but I have to say that in most cases child labor is unnecessary and wrong.



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