In Easter Week, or "Semana Santa" as Spanish speaking people call it - many of us choose to reflect on our blessings. And, the old saying still rings true, that no matter how bad you've got it, someone always has it worse.
And, yesterday, Monica Bodden found a family who's down to almost nothing, except the will to carry on. She visited with Edith Ramirez, a mother who's struggling - quote literally - to stay afloat as she finds herself living in a swamp. Here's her family's story.
Monica Bodden Reporting
"Tell me what you like doing at school."
"Read, write, do lots of work and the teacher let us work with lots of writing that we write"
"What class are you in?"
"So you enjoy going to school?"
9 year old Wondell enjoys going to school and playing with his friends. To many, he might seem like the typical 9 year old child - But Wondall isn't!
For the past few months he, his mother, his 10 year old brother and their 3 year sister have been living in what is the remaining of their collapsed house.
Edith Ramirez - Mother, Head of Household
"Every time it rains we have to move from there because everything gets wet. It's a must, we have to leave. When it gets cold we also have to leave. We either go to friend's house or my aunt's house."
Edit Ramirez is Wondell's mother. She lives alone with her 3 young children. Ramirez has moved away from Honduras to Belize 17 years ago, in hopes of a better life. But for the past 3 months, she and her children have been homeless after their wooden structure house collapsed. With nowhere to go and no assistance, they are forced to live in the opened.
The broken down house is located on Freedom Street in the Port Loyola Area of the City. To reach it, you first must cross this swamp which is believed to be crocodile infested.
It is an art to get across the make-shift bridge - an art I didn't master on my first attempt at trying.
And when that didn't work, I got some assistance from the neighborhood boys - who swiftly docked an old fridge near the makeshift bridge and helped me in. It was smooth sailing after that to the other side - but definitely something I wouldn't enjoy doing on a daily basis.
"I really need a little help. When my children come home from school, they need to take off their shoes to get across to where we live."
It is hard to imagine living in such circumstances - where there is no roof, no walls or flooring- and surrounded by swamp land. But that's the reality of this family of 4. I was welcomed inside their living quarters to really see what life is like for them.
This is their cooking area, out in the opened. Their pots, pans, plates and other cooking utensils are all set up in this area. Near to it is a tiny makeshift bedroom where the 4 sleeps at night. There is no bathroom for the family to use.
"I really need some assistance, especially for my children."
Monica later returned across the swamp in the teetering refrigerator shells. If you'd like to help Edith Ramirez, you can call 607-1146.