On the streets of Cochabamba, Bolivia there are more than 600 children identified as “street children”. Their poverty is extreme. They help each other steal to buy food, drugs and glue to sniff. It’s makes them numb to the cold and to the pain they feel.
Proyecto Coyera is the story of two Canadian women and their passionate commitment to help the street children of Cochabamba.
Together they have helped to create and support Estrellas en la Calle (Stars in the Streets) and Proyecto Coyera (Project Coyera). From a converted house they have set up a resource centre for street kids. It’s a place where
homeless children and teenagers can get medicine, clothing, showers, hygienic supplies and an open door to start the process of getting away from street life.
In Bolivia today, many children have to help secure the survival of their families. Instead of attending school they are forced to shine shoes, sell candy or wash cars. If they are not earning enough money, they are often abused or neglected at home as a consequence. Many of these unprotected children are eventually abandoned by their families. They are forced to live on the streets where they meet children who are facing identical problems.. In order to dispel the burning hunger that plagues them. They are soon introduced to the use of drugs like "Clefa" or glue sniffing. Many begin stealing; whether to simply buy something to eat, or to pay for their drugs.
It doesn't take long for these children on the streets to grow accustomed to a life without rules. School and homework don't exist for them and they enjoy the lack of an adult presence.
The street signifies, for them, a place without responsibilities. They do not care what they wear, or even if they are clean. Any sense of shame escapes them and so begging becomes a common activity amongst them as does robbery, and physical and sexual violence.
They also find themselves turned away from hospitals and other aid centers due to their unkempt appearances and many, sadly, end up facing their death on the streets in extremely inhumane conditions.
“With project ¨Coyera¨ we would like to give to the street children, who have for the most part been abandoned, the possibility to discover the dignity which exists inside of each one of them. Through the project we are helping them to see that they have a mission in life, and that they are important, and that they possess talents and capabilities. We want to give these children, adolescents, and young people who live in the streets, the possibility to discover themselves as individuals who can develop their own abilities and take their lives into their own hands.” - Crystal Rainbird
Producer/Director: Rick Castiglione
Cinematography: Rick Castiglione