Post # 1
granted, its not uncommon in mexico. young teens (/preteens (from 11-12 packing bags in supermarkets (theyre allowed to work there but for tips not salaries)
the chicle kids selling gum etc in the streets who can be really young
the one in my area sits outside the 24/7 hour shop in the evenings for several hours (maybe 5pm-11) selling empanadas. he seems to be around 10-11. it just doesnt sit right with me. i know he doesnt look neglected, and he seems happy. but its on a public quite deserted road and he just seems so young so be having that responsibility
i know that i dont get to judge, my fi has a very good job and i don’t understand what its like to be living on mexicos minimum wage which is roughly a few dollars, or the higher but more average low wage of 200 pesos a day – around 16 dollars
in england/US you;d do something. but here the government are aware of a lot of kids are working even late at night. and providing they attend the obligatory half day at school (kids go to the morning shift or afternoon shift) and seem to have enough food no one cares
so i buy these pineapple empanadas and let him keep the change not knowing if im helping or perpetuating a cycle. i cant actually eat them as im allergic to pineapple but i feel terrible walking past without it
eugh. i dont know what im looking for. advice. just to vent.who knows
Post # 3
What don’t you like about it? Is there not enough oversight for what they are doing, or…?
I had a job the day I turned 13 and worked consistently all throughout high school and college, and before that I worked odd jobs/babysat regularly to make some dollars from about the age of 10-11. I am now really good with money at a young age because I had a good work ethic instilled at a young age. And it kept me busy – a lot of the kids I knew growing up who were into trouble had too much time on their hands, so it probably didn’t hurt that I was doing something responsible with my time instead of getting into nonsense.
Post # 4
@newname_99: I worked as soon as I could get my work permit (15 1/2). I look younger than I am & always have. I think people thought I was like 12. Heck someone thought I was 12 when I was 20 lol. It wasn’t really a public business & I also lived with friends families & paid things on my own so I kinda needed my own job.
Post # 5
@MrsWrangler: i dont like that most of the time they’re completely alone, especially after dark. this probably is because ive spent far too much time watching shows like law and order SVU and i now expect terrible things to happen
i mean with the chicle kids, i dont think 6-7 year olds should be selling gum late at night on the street, and im not sure even 10 year olds should be working late alone
im pro learning a work ethic of course, but in a more supervised way i guess
Post # 6
@canthugallcats: no these kids really are young they dont just look young. its a common problem in mexico, the youngest are around 5, average is a bit older
they can either be homeless and alone, or living with their families but in poverty
the one near my house isnt homeless or one of the most poor. but some of them are are its heartbreaking
Post # 7
I starting waiting tables at my mother’s work when I was 8 [for tips].. the day I turned 14, I got a job there, and I’ve been working there every since [currently 25]. Although, I’m not a waitress anymore and I make a BUNCH more!
Do I feel like I lost my childhood or anything? Sometimes, yeah it bothered me. But I ALWAYS had more money and nicer things than all of my friends, and I actually WORKED for it.
I believe I have great morals and work ethic because of this. I can’t imagine NOT working.
Post # 8
@jenilynevette: I think the assumption is that these poor kids aren’t working for their ‘own’ fun money like you did, but rather helping their parents and their family with the money they earn so that their family can survive.
OP, Mexico is still technically a developing country and I think that helping these children through the empanadas you buy is better than not helping at all. Not buying empanadas isn’t going to force families and the government to make different choices. :/
Post # 9
@velvetcats: Yes, I would agree it’s probably to help the family out, and I did that as well when my family when in need [when my parents got divorce, we survived off of green beans & onions w/ ranch dressing [that’s literally all we had in the house at the time], for a month.
But the work ethic and morals are still there.
Post # 10
My mom started working at 13; my dad at 14. I think this is why they are so hardcore liberal now. They always say they don’t want other kids to go through what they went through – not having enough to eat, not having proper clothes, giving up school even though they had good grades, seeing their parents come home from work exhausted and skipping dinner so their kids could have more to eat. Sometimes I feel like crying knowing what they went through and what people today still go through.
I once saw pictures of young kids in Cambodia, who instead of going to school, were spending their days digging through trash dumps, surrounded by flies, looking for stuff to eat or sell. It’s heartbreaking.
Post # 12
This thread is baffling…so are folks saying they’d be okay with their 10 year old sitting out front of a 7-11 selling gum at 10:00 at night? I highly doubt that would be the case.
Post # 13
@newname_99: im pro learning a work ethic of course, but in a more supervised way i guess
I can agree with that – sounds like a sad situation for those kiddos.
Post # 14
@newname_99: Its a sad situation, I’m sorry you witness it on a daily basis and I hope all the best for those kids. Hey, good for you for helping that kid out.
Post # 15
@icetea: i agree, theres 100% a difference between kids learning a work ethic in a secure environment to selling on the street
@Talon: what im hoping to do, is set up an english school in the near future. and i was thinking about offering him english classes for free in the future, so hopefully eventually he will have more prospects. a family is unlikely to take money, but classes would seem different. im just working on the logistics!!
Post # 16
@newname_99: OP, I understand where you are coming from on the situation. I spent a good amount of time through home stays/work exchanges in Mexico and Peru, where many young children were working in conditions like you mentioned.
Yes, I started working at 14, but like most posters and Americans, conditions are far different. The children working at the age of 6-12 are in far different situations than many Americans could possibly imagine. It’s often not safe, supervised or beneficial (i.e., “work ethic” or fun) for the child.