Using child labor


THIS IS CARLOS, and he’s 11 years old. He’s painting our house.

We hired him because he charges almost nothing because he has little food, no home and no parents. We found him crying on the street last week.

Aha! I thought. I can use this to my advantage.

Okay, I’m making all that up. It’s his father, José, who’s painting parts of the Hacienda, but Carlos had no school today, so he came along with his dad who promptly put him to work scraping old, flaking paint on our downstairs terraza.

He did a good job of it, and then he swept up the mess, and his dad showed him how to apply some liquid that will hinder humidity problems in the future. Then the new paint will be added. José did not just bring Carlos. He also brought his daughter who is 6 years old. She mostly sits in the car and plays with a cell phone.

They are both very nice and well-behaved kids. Nice to have them around.