'No, no me gustan huevos verdes con jamon'. Nelson reads very slowly, sounding our each syllable. Green eggs and ham doesn't quite have the same ring in Spanish as it does in English, but what is amazing is that Nelson is reading. Two years ago when he came to SALV he was 14 and had spent 6 years on and off the street. He could not read at all and was not willing to try. He was a class clown when he attended school and was often embarrassed by his inabilities and overwhelmed by the seeming impossibility of learning. With the help of some of the educators and staff at SALV and regular attendance at school Nelson slowly found the hard work paying off. Now, he reads to other children in the project and uses the computer to copy texts from books to the screen. He still has trouble with some words, but he can understand what is written. And he can enjoy the silliness of Dr. Seuss.
Abandoned by his mother at age 7, Bismark and his older brother left their home in Ocotal in the north of the country to live on the streets, sniff glue and steal. Bismark learned of the project and became involved in the daily tasks asked of the kids. He attended combined fifth and sixth grade where he discovered he was a whiz at mathematics. He would like to continue studying and become a mechanic. At 15 Bismark has remained with SALV and is one of the oldest of the kids in the project and one of the quietest.
In the market place staff from SALV gave medication to Carlos for his warts. They met with Carlos regularly for over a year. Following an incident in which his eye was injured and swollen shut, he decided to leave the fighting and the stealing in the market and join SALV. 'I didn't behave at first, but then I started to get used to the people and the other kids'. After 7 months with the project Carlos at aged 12 is in first grade and can now read a clock, and is looking forward to reading and writing. He loves riding bikes and making 'pulseras'. His grandmother looks over him and is thankful for this chance for Carlos