La Ronda is just around the corner

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Children: the difference between Ecuador and USA

Where are US children hiding?  Not only this visit to Minneapolis, in general since I arrived in US in 1993 - it is visual - there are almost no children outside.
You can see toddlers in the strollers with their parents.  Very rare you can see pre-teens or teens walking around.  Children in between are mostly absent from the scene.
My kids were 7 y o (my son) and 12 y o (my daughter) in 1993 and I received my answer (Where are US children hiding?) promptly. The manager of our apartment building prohibited my son from playing outside on the property of the apartment complex.  In Belarus we had a country house with land:  trees, bushes, etc. and my son had a tendency to climb the trees and garage roofs. Not anymore. 
My Minneapolis condo association has many rules and regulations.  One of them - kids under age 12 cannot be outside without parents supervision.
Fast forward to Ecuador.  Children are everywhere, all ages.  They play in the inner courtyards of their apartment complexes or houses.  They walk on the streets.  Alone, sometimes (oh my!) or with parents or with their friends.
Sundays is family day in Quito.  Some areas are closed to traffic and open for people to walk.
Yes, it can be noisy, yes it might be dangerous for these kids to walk alone, but this is how they learn life, being outside, not sitting in their homes playing computer games.
Yet again, we prefer the Ecuadorian way.

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