When we first met Oscarin, he was confidently navigating the agave fields near his home, his small six-year-old frame disappearing behind the agaves that his father tends to as the sun rises. We were with a team of documentarians, and as he led us around the fields, eager to share what he knew and absorb what he didn’t, he instilled us with a hopeful confidence in Mexico’s future. His extraordinary intelligence, his joyous spirit, and his apparent willingness to simply do what needed doing awed the entire film crew. Here he was, six years old, toasting a fresh tortilla on a heated stone in the dirt of a rural plain: tomorrow’s Mexico.
Part of what inspired us in young Oscarin — his selfless alacrity to do whatever is needed of him — is what breaks our heart today. Now, several years later, the insatiably curious boy whom we root for can no longer justify going to school. He has two younger sisters now, and in typical Oscarin fashion, insists on working in the fields to help put food in their bellies, rather than work towards his own future. Despite loving his trade school, he puts his sisters first, without hesitation.
Oscarin restlessly longs to go back to school; his ambitions lie in electrical engineering. When he’s not working the fields, he’s fixing and restoring broken electronics for his friends and neighbors (for a fee, of course). But in his region, his fee must be unsustainably modest, thus capping his business with a ceiling too low for Oscarin’s needs and towering potential. His best bet to provide for himself and his sisters — if he’s to avoid the perilous journey North — is to gain apprenticeship with a nearby engineer. This requires finishing his trade school education. But there is no convincing him to go back if it means his family will struggle more as a result. He’s only sixteen, but his dedication to his sisters is unwavering. He just won’t budge.
So we’ve designed a plan.
We created this, the Oscarin Fund, to cover a few essential bases. The goal of the Fund is to raise enough money to pay for his educational expenses, as well as to cover some of the opportunity cost of him not working in the fields. Essentially, we’re investing in the education of a kind, bright young man, and with whatever gift you can give him, you can help a deserving kid reach his potential.