Driving up the hilly entrance to the dump is formidable. Trash is everywhere and the smell begins to hit your face. Noisy trucks litter the road straining to go up the incline. Rain makes the road even more treacherous.
I have been to the dump many times over the last six years and each time is unique. The mountain grows with the garbage and they move from one area to another constantly making room for more waste. Each time I arrive the dump is located in a different spot.
The thought hit me that the makeshift homes would have to be moved from time to time. The refrigerator boxes would be changed when the location is altered. My heart strains to understand the plight.
These cardboard box homes are a reminder of my childhood. I loved playing in boxes. We made an entire house of boxes with a kitchen, bedroom and living area. Of course it was only play. This is their life!
These box homes offer little protection in a heavy downpour. They are often protected by a harder substance like wood, but that is a prized commodity in this situation. This picture shows a man’s home with some wood on top. An old tire is placed on top to keep the pieces together. He is taking a rest from the hot sun in the mid afternoon.
The busy nature of the dump is like an ant hill. There is continual motion with the trucks, bulldozers and the people. If someone got caught in front of the bulldozer it would never be known. The birds, cows and people continually move as the dozer goes back and forth packing the mountain of garbage.
Children run after the trucks when they arrive. The garbage truck opens and people stand directly behind and grab at items falling from the back. It seems like a race.
Who will be the first one to notice some fresh food or plastic bottle? Finders keepers was something we always said as children. That is not always the case here. Some adults take from the children. But it is also a competition against the bulldozer. They have to extract everything useful before the driver runs over the pile and begins packing the mountain of garbage.
Cows and vultures are as thick as the flies that swarm the pile. Children stand next to these animals digging for plunder. I will never forget the sight of watching a small child wade into a pile of animal by products from a processing plant. It was like swimming in sludge. She would find pieces of food and drop them in her plastic bag. It broke my heart. Then I thought of my grandchildren and felt thankfulness to the Lord for their provisions.
I have never been so close to vultures. They have always been a distant vision as they would lift above our approaching car and land after we pass. These have no fear of people here. They know that a meal is in the pile and they are not going to pass that prospect by.
Many people in the dump are at their last stopping place. Some have been chased into this life because they are no longer allowed in the neighborhoods or barrios. Their life is in danger and they must flee for safety in this place. It certainly seems like a very harsh place to be safe.
The Lord Jesus talks of the poor and that we will always have them with us. But the reality of the poorest of the poor is cruel. I can never think of hell and not remember the city dump in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Please pray
(1) 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. 
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
Jesus knows the situation and He gave up everything so that we could inherit the kingdom of heaven. That gift is present for everyone at the dump.
If you find yourself displeased with your circumstances, home or clothes, then remember the people in the city dump. That is what I say to myself. I am deeply thankful to the Lord for what I have.
Cathy and Danny Sartin
Deeper Still Missions
(1) The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (2 Cor 8:9). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society
(2) he Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Mt 5:2-3). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society
Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.