When ninety children come together under such traumatic circumstances you might expect chaos. Nothing could be further from the truth at Westfalia. The children become an extended family and relate to each other as brothers and sisters. It is truly an amazing thing to see.
Life carries responsibilities and the children learn that from day one. They are responsible for keeping the property clean, maintaining the animals that live on site for therapeutic reasons and, obviously, attending school. Those too young to attend the local school in Cienegilla are provided a kindergarten class on site.
The facility bakes all of its own bread and the older children assume that responsibility. Though the land is barren, great effort was made to haul in proper soil in which to maintain vegetable and herb gardens as well as some fruit. Tending to and harvesting the minimal crops that they manage to grow is also on the children’s agenda. The yield is in no way sufficient to provide for all their needs and, when it is affordable, additional vegetables are purchased from a farm beside the orphanage. Below is a photo of one of the vegetable garden areas and an area where they grow herbs.
The children also learn craft work and prepare many items that are sold to provide some minimal financial support for the facility.
There is a shoe repair shop on site where older children repair shoes that have been donated, as well as another shop where they make sandals. The values they learn at Westfalia are significant and hopefully will be carried with them throughout life.