A Day in the Life
In many ways, the daily schedule of the children at Casa Amor is no different than the schedule of children living in the United States. They wake up every morning, usually around 6:00 to get ready to begin their day. Some of the children wake up on their own while others take a little more work and need a momma to shake them awake. They straighten their bed linens, get dressed and then meet in the eating pavilion for breakfast.
After finishing breakfast, the older kids complete their assigned chores for the day. The girls typically clean up the eating pavilion after breakfast and then sweep and mop the floors. The boys either work in the garden or keep the common areas and play areas clean. Sometimes this means pulling weeds and other times it means trimming the bushes surrounding the main buildings on the property. After completing their chores, the older kids have free play time before school. Some of the kids like to use this time to catch up on homework. These older children walk to school after lunch and stay through the afternoon.
The younger children’s day begins slightly differently from the older children. For the most part the mommas have to wake up the little kids to get them moving in the mornings. They get dressed for the day and walk to school shortly after finishing their breakfast. They stay at school until lunchtime when a momma walks them back the few blocks to Casa Amor. They run through the gate with excitement and are ready to play through the remainder of the afternoon. After eating lunch they have free play time around Casa Amor. They like to jump rope, color and hula hoop.
All of the children are together again in the late afternoon. The older boys spend time keeping the adjacent lot clear of weeds and debris while the older girls help prepare dinner or clean the living spaces. After dinner is finished, the children have time to play together, usually on the adjacent lot with a baseball game or some other game. Shortly after this special time together, the children start winding down and getting ready for bed.
The mommas of Casa Amor do a wonderful job keeping things running in an orderly manner. With thirty three siblings there are bound to be arguments and sibling rivalries, but as with any other family, the mommas make sure all the children look out for each other at the end of the day. Children are children, no matter their family situation or where they live, and the mommas offer a guiding, encouraging hand that creates an atmosphere of love and acceptance.