We talk a lot about wrap around services in education. Those are things like after school programs, free and reduced lunches, breakfasts at school, and parent academies. Today we visited the Centro Comunitario Canica, a non-profit organization that provides wrap around services to children in Oaxaca City from ages 3 - 18. The majority of these children are products of dangerous living situations or where there are 7 or more living in one house. 50% of the kids work, and 49% of those accompany their parents to work. The children's parents mostly work at stop lights washing windshields, or work in the Central de Abastos - the major distribution center of the region. To participate in CANICA, parents must make a commitment to attend parent meetings as well as the students to attend school.
CANICA began because two people were eating dinner in an upscale restaurant here in Oaxaca. Two children came in selling something and one, a little girl, got a bloody nose. One of the diners tried to take her to the bathroom and the restaurant workers would not let her go. The two people were so upset about the level of poverty and lack of services, that they began CANICA. That was in 1992.
We have six more sessions scheduled at CANICA. I think that we will all leave changed.
Photo courtesy of Angelia Moore, LISTO 2017