Today, young students all around Golden will be heading to their first day of classes. The beginning of the school year brings back for me memories of freshly oiled yellow buses, spit-shined hallways and a mixed sense of disappointment and excitement for the summer holidays to be at their end.

In La Taña, Guatemala this past April, I saw children who were downright giddy every single day to be heading to dilapidated shacks of school rooms, sharing a pair of unbelievably revolting outhouses with hundreds of others- giddy because they were learning instead of working in the fields, thanks to a government subsidy to their parents. Below is a picture of a group of students in La Taña crowded into a dusty, dark room followed by a shot of those giddy faces.

In Leogane, Haiti, where I will be a week from now, the January 12 earthquake flattened 90% of the town and killed 30,000 of the 180,000 residents. All-Hands Volunteers have since helped the community with the quantum task of clearing the rubble from some school sites, and recently completed rebuilding one of the schools. Here is a link to a pancaked school in Leogane, one which likely is a long ways away from again greeting students on the first day of school.

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