Pedro is a 6-year-old boy, with startlingly large eyes that seem to take over his entire face. Pedro’s father is a Puestero, or ranch hand, that tends to goats and the sheep, warding off foxes and pumas that are common in the mountains. Adriana, his mother, takes care of the three children. Pedro’s family is looked down upon because they are Puestero; here, it is better to have less, than be a Puestero. Nevertheless, they make approximately 2000 pesos a month, which is double the average wage of the families in that area.
While Pedro and his brother Sebastian, 8, are fortunate enough to attend classes at Ricardo Rojas School, Claudio, 10, their eldest brother, has been sent to live with their ailing grandmother, in Etauca de Guadalupe, a small village, where he will be his grandmother’s primary care taker.
On their way to school, Pedro and Sebastian, meet up with their teacher, Yolanda, on the main road of the village and walk 3-4 Km, arriving at school around noon. They start their school day with a meal and stay until dusk. By the time they arrive at home, it is already dark outside and they spend the rest of the evening in darkness or in the dim light of a kerosene lamp since their homes are without any other source of light. The kerosene lamp is smoky and irritates their eyes. The firewood that is burning in a large metal pot known as a “Brasero” provides much needed heat. Although the adults are aware of the dangers of death by carbon dioxide and incomplete combustion, they have no alternatives.
While the solar light will not be able to bring warmth to the family, the light will enable Adriana to continue with housework, Pedro and Sebastian will be able to study at night, and Hugo will be able to tend to the animals in the dark. In addition, the money they will save on kerosene will go towards much needed items including food and medicine.