06/29/2016 This is not a fun or lighthearted post. It’s brutally frank and honest and unbiased, sprinkled with my disgust. I feel the need to tell this story, maybe just to help me accept my life in a third world country.
We met a 13 year old boy named Omar while we were building our house in 2013. He came with the electrician, who said he could “work around here” and that he needed money for his mother. He spoke Spanish and English. His mother had 4 children, a then 16 year old girl who had a year old son, Omar, a 10 year old sister and a 3 year old brother. They had nothing. There was no father around, except for the men his mother slept with. Omar and the rest of the kids have no idea who their father is, they have never seen any of their fathers.
We got used to having Omar around and always made sure we had “work” for him. We would feed him when he was hungry, which was most of the time. One day he brought a chicken neck for lunch. We bought him school clothes, a backpack, many pairs of shoes, notebooks, underwear, all things that he needed. For his birthday Bill got a cake and had the guys sing Happy Birthday to him. It was the first birthday cake in his 13 year old life. For Christmas we bought him a Qatar soccer jersey, he really wanted one. He said he had never gotten a Christmas gift before.
We made sure he was going to school and I even spent an afternoon helping him do homework that needed to be done on a computer. This is so weird because many of the kids don’t have electricity in their homes, let alone a computer. That was the day I realized that Omar could not read Spanish. Not too long after that Omar didn’t want to go to school. We found out his mother wanted him working, not in school, she needed the money he made. Soon after that he quit school, not even finishing the year. We were disappointed, to say the least.
He was working with us more and more, weeding, cleaning up, painting, whatever we could find for him to do. By this time his mom had a new “husband” (doubt they were ever married but he was around a lot).
Omar was 16 then and his mom was pregnant with baby # 5. One day he came here with his “stepdad” to ask for $$. His mom was in the hospital, something was wrong with the baby. The stepdad was on his motorcycle but he didn’t have the $25.00 he needed for Omar’s mom. Whatever, we lent Omar the money and he said he would work it off. We knew he would.
His mother ended up losing the baby, say what you will but it was divine intervention. No child should ever be raised like Omar and his siblings are being raised. She needs to be spayed like all the dogs on the street.
Things at home were getting worse, Omar’s sister would call him during the day crying because she and the stepdad had a fight or the stepdad was drunk and they needed Omar to come home. It was awful , even worse when you realize there is a 13, a 6 and a 4 year old in the home.
Omar found out about an English school where he would learn to read and write English. He wanted to go and we encouraged him to do it. Our dream is for him to get a job on a cruise ship and get the hell away from his mother. He loved school and was eager to go every day. He told us how strict the teachers were, no messing around, no touching each other, no speaking Spanish in class, it was all good for him.
In this time frame his mom and step dad opened an illegal bar in their home. A perfect environment for a 4 and a 6 year old child to be in. Let me tell you this, their house has a few windows, most are broken, Omar shares a room with his siblings, none of them have beds. Much of the time they have no electricity or food. The kids have tattered clothing and no shoes. The younger daughter has a vacant look in her eyes, she’s not there.
I am not condemning poverty or dissing those who are poor. There is a huge difference between being poor and loving your kids and being poor and not giving a shit about them. Omar’s mother does not care. She cares about herself and her men. It’s so evident that it makes me sick.
He completed the first quarter of school and was so excited because they were having a graduation ceremony. He wanted us to come and we said we would. We got to the church early and asked where his mother was. He said she wasn’t coming, she was busy. Then he said, she doesn’t care about me. We tried to assure him that she did care but I think the words fell on deaf ears.
Omar got an award for perfect attendance, we were really proud of that. He also nailed his poem that he had to say from memory, in English. I thanked his teacher for all that she did for the kids. She knew who I was because we fit his class for TOM’s shoes.
School is on break now so Omar is here more than he’s not. He is a big help around here, he plays with the dogs, helps clean up, swims, he’s learned to clean the pool. Bill has been teaching him as many life skills as he can because the kids around here have no opportunity to learn any on their own.
Our company arrived Sat the 18th. They had been traveling overnight and were exhausted. They went to bed around 9 PM. Bill had just gotten in bed when his phone rang, it was 10:10. It was Omar’s older sister. Seems the stepdad and the younger sister got into another fight and Omar separated them and threw the stepdad out. OK, first of all, what mother allows her “husband” to physically fight with her 13 year old daughter and why does the stepdad always fight with her?? The stepdad was drunk, of course.
Omar went to bed. At some point the stepdad came back and hit Omar in the middle of the forehead with what was described as a bat. He was bleeding badly. After calling 2 uncles who refused to help, they called Bill. He got dressed right away and went to get Omar to take him to the hospital. When he got there and saw the injury he was stunned. His head was split open to the skull. That’s how hard he was hit. His mother didn’t go to the hospital but SHE SENT HER 6 YEAR OLD SON, HER 13 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER, HER 19 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER AND HER DAUGHTER’S 4 YEAR OLD SON. She sent the whole damn family but she stayed home. What mother stays home after her son has his skull laid open in an act of attempted murder? I want to hurt her.
The doctor at the hospital dropped the ball completely. He should have filed a report, the police should have come. He blew it. It was not reported. The lighting in the hospital was so bad that Bill had to use his cell phone flashlight so the doc could see to stitch up Omar’s head. He was given a prescription for antibiotics and sent home. Not a word was mentioned about the physical abuse or the attack. Bill took Omar and the kids home around 1 AM. His mother DID NOT GO WITH HIM TO THE HOSPITAL. How could she stay home and not know how badly her son was injured, really, how could she do that? I’m still horrified over this whole thing. She also did not go and get the antibiotics the next day and by 5 PM he still didn’t have them so we got them and took them to his house. He looked awful, I just hugged him. He was close to tears.
Supposedly the step dad was told to leave and not come back. That was Omar’s moms peace offering. Well, less than a week later, guess who’s back? Omar’s mom called the stepdad and asked him to come back, probably begged him to. She’s a tramp, no mincing words for me. I have not a speck of respect for that woman.
The other day Omar came here totally devastated. He said his mom doesn’t care at all about him and we didn’t say, “Oh yes she does.” It’s time for him to learn the ugly truth. I asked if the stepdad apologized and the response I got was “hmmph, never”. He and his older sister are getting a place and taking the younger sister and his older sister’s son with them. The 6 year old will stay with the mom.
The police know about it, word travels fast in a small community. Because Omar did not file a Denuncia (police report) in 24 hours, nothing can be done to his step dad, except the cops know what went on and that’s a good thing.
Yes, we live in Paradise, it’s beautiful here, as are MOST of the people. There are scum everywhere and here on this island and in many other 3rd world countries, things like this happen with not a second thought and that makes me sick to my stomach. His mother makes me sick to my stomach, she’s not really a mother, she is/was a birthing vessel. Her kids have no chance at all.
We are keeping an eye on Omar and his siblings. His mother will be very upset once he and the older sister leave because she will not have his income anymore.
I know many of you know who I’m talking about and are wondering why I am using this name, it’s to protect him and his siblings, so please don’t use his real name in any posts or comments.
Please keep these kids in your prayers, they need all the help they can get.
Julie said just a few weeks ago that we should bring Omar back hear with us so he could have a good life.
He is 17 and has no legal ID, his mother never bothered to get it. When he turns 18 he will be able to get it without her help. His life sucks, he says he is only happy when he’s here with us.
People who don’t believe in birth control need to have this in their face! A woman that has relations with any man, uses no contraceptives, and then has kids that she doesn’t care about at all. Sick!
Good article, Ledfutt!
It’s a very sad chronic issue here, 13, 14 year old girls having babies, sometimes one right after the other. Many families here have 7, 8 kids and that many dogs. They can’t afford to feed any of them. It is paradise here but it’s also very hard to live here being constantly faced with these issues.
So many people near and afar turn a blind eye to these kinds of atrocities. I admire you for making “Omar’s” plight public. I wonder if you know about a popular crowd-funding website that helps people in need. Twice last year (in Northern California) I read about victims of 1) forest fire and 2)traffic accident and the end of the article said donations could be made on this website, so I made a small donation. Amazing to watch and see the donations accumulate. You might consider starting a GoFundMe page for “Omar’s” family. Here is the link to get started: https://www.gofundme.com/tour/
Hi Julia, I did the Go Fund Me but had to delete it because Omar doesn’t have a US SS# and is not yet 18. I’m taking donations via my PayPal for him and his siblings.
What country are you in?? In Roatan?? I was planning on moving there as your friend Amanda Walkins and I have been chating back and fourth for awhile now, and , because she has moved to Scotland , she told me to get in touch with you if I needed any information regarding moving to Roatan…
I am horrified at your story… if child abuse and attempted murder isn’t reported than I guess it would be ok to go bash the stepdad’s head in the same way he did to Omar… Right? that’s what I would do… if the complaint sin’t filed for a child than what différence does it make? that,s what I would do..just sayin’
It’s horrible what the stepdad got away with. We have another child near us whose grandmother beats the boys with a piece of metal, they have scars on their arms and faces. Third world country mentality, lack of education, I don’t know.
I love living here and many people turn a blind eye to the plight of children and animals on this island, I can’t do that.
If I can help in any way, let me know. My email is email@example.com.
Oh, my goodness, that poor young man! He and his siblings are living a horrendous nightmare for an existence. This is incredibly sad and I completely understand your feelings to this “mom”. I will pray for this poor family and their plight. It is wonderful that he and his siblings can move out into a home of their own away from her. Sad, sad. 😦
Debbie & Bill, I understand and feel your pain, hatred and hope-less-ness. We have been there ourselves, with a few young men around here. I don’t know what the answer is except don’t give up hope. Don’t quite know what else to say. God bless. You are good people.
Thanks Julie, seems like we are his only hope.