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Juvenile Detention Center, Paraguay – April 20th

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We do a cool thing where we ask who of them wants to be a leader and doesn’t care what their friends think. After we get a few volunteers (in this case like 20!), we give them cards to read that have historic quotes written on them such as, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”, and many inspiring quotes from past famous figures. We then have a competition to see who can read it like a leader with emotion and passion in their voice. These boys really got into and gave it all their heart. So much so that we had a three way tie for winner. But it is a good exercise to help them come out of them self and learn to speak and lead. WE have a number of games and activities like this.

Loooooonnnnnnggg drive to reach this place;) Traffic is insane because the street lights rarely work or often don’t exist;) Anyway, it was well worth the drive! It really surprised me how teachable and receptive these guys were.  Often when the whole age group is in their teens, peer pressure can be strong and sometimes we have to be a little firm to get them to focus, but in this case, even though  many of them looked like cool “bad” kids, they were just little boys at heart.

One boy, 16 years old, told us his dad left when he was 7, his mom died of cancer, then his dad came back, but was a drunk and then died shortly after he came back into the boys life. We was in and out of foster homes and got into trouble. Many of these kids moms or ants are now in the women’s prison, which we will visit next week. It was hard to leave this place. Every young man just wanted the tightest hug and didn’t want us to leave. I would love to adopt some of those guys. Here in this detention center, these young guys can have a sentence of anywhere from a few months, to 8 years.

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