A Day in the Life of a Boy in the Amazon Jungle

Have you ever wondered what daily life is like in the Amazon jungle? Many of the children living in extreme poverty live in the most remote places in the world. In South America, Compassion serves children who live in the remote jungles of the Amazon basin from Bolivia to Ecuador to Peru.

A boy in a red shirt hugs his arms across his chest and smiles. He is standing in front of a river in the Amazon jungle.

Take a peek into what it’s like for sponsored children who live in the Amazon jungle of South America by following a day in the life of 8-year-old Enán from Peru. Enán lives with his family in the small community of San Miguel. This captivating village is surrounded by green trees and lush vegetation. It’s two hours to Moyobamba, the nearest big city of about 50,000 people and one of the most impoverished communities in the region.

Time to Wake Up!

A family of five sits on a bed in a room made from wood and a iron sheet roof. Sunlight comes in through cracks of the wood, and clothing hangs on the walls. The dad holds a young girl on his lap and the mom holds a young boy on his lap, all looking at and smiling at a boy under the covers.

It’s 5:30 Saturday morning, and the first rays of light are shining into the home of the Alarcón family. Enán feels the warmth of the sun on his face and hears the animals rustling around outside. It is time to start a new day.

All the families in the village wake up very early. They must make the most of the sunlight, since there is no electricity in their community. Besides, the heat is suffocating later in the day, reaching 104 degrees some days.

Enán’s house is a typical jungle house, made of wood with a woven-palm roof. But life in the jungle means enduring sudden, heavy rainstorms, with lightning and thunder. Therefore, the Compassion center provided corrugated iron sheets for the family to put above their rooms as protection from leaks.

Breakfast Time

A boy wearing a white shirt crouches in front of a wood fire that has a wire frame over it with several plantains on it and two black pots.

There are plentiful fruits in the area, such as plantains, papayas and mangoes that families in San Miguel include in their daily meals. The Alarcóns grow their own food, and their diet is based on plantains and meat from the animals they keep ― chickens and pigs.

A family of five sits at a wooden table with mugs and bowls with rolls in them. The room is made of wooden slats.

A classic daily breakfast for the family is bread with smoked plantains, which they cook on a wood fire in their kitchen area.

Devotional Time

A family of five with three young children sit on the floor, each holding a Bible. One boy points to a page in the mother's Bible. They are in a room made from wooden slats.

Despite his young age, Enán deeply loves Jesus and the Scriptures. Surrounded by the beautiful vegetation and chirping birds, Enán loves learning more about God with his parents each morning.

“One of the first things we have tried to teach our children from a very early age is to always give thanks to God when we wake up. This is the best possible way to start our day,” says Edua Alarcón, Enán’s father.

Chore Time

A young boy in a white shirt holds a hoe, standing in a vegetable garden. A man in a red shirt stands and watches, as a toddler plays nearby.

During the rest of the morning, Enán does different chores to help his parents. With his family, he tends to the vegetables and fruits they grow in their garden.

A boy in a small plot of land in the Amazon jungle bends over, feeding a pig out of a bowl. A chicken is in the foreground.

He also feeds and cares for their chickens and pigs. And before he’s off to play, his parents make sure he does his homework. Even though Enán does his chores happily, he also loves running and playing with his friends.

Compassion Center Time

A boy wearing a white shirt and red shorts swings on monkey bars, with several boys behind him waiting in line.

Enán is a sponsored child at Compassion Center PE0555 at the Nazarene Church in Naranjillo. Children like Enán love to go to the center because it is the only place in the community where there are slides, seesaws, monkey bars and swings.

“My favorite place is the center,” Enán says. “There, my tutor always teaches us many good things about God and how we should behave. I also really like playing on the playground. My friends and I spend hours playing there, and we never get tired.”

River Time

A mother and four children stand in a river surrounded by green foliage. A toddler is being held by the hands by the mother and sister.

At the end of the day, Enán and his family love going to the bank of the river, which is just a 20-minute walk from their home. Families of the community gather there to wash their clothes, clean their personal items and bathe.

A boy wearing a red shirt and white shorts sits in a shallow riverbed surrounded by green foliage, and splashes water.

Enán loves splashing and swimming with his friends and family. It is a place where he can relax and enjoy his childhood to the fullest.

Time to Say Goodbye

We hope you enjoyed spending a day in the Amazon jungle with Enán. The Alarcón family is a great example of how the Compassion program has a positive impact in people’s lives – from little things like giving children a place where they can play, to big things like learning at school and dreaming of a better future.

“I am very grateful to the Compassion program because it has been a huge blessing for my family,” says Edua, Enán’s father. “We receive a lot of financial and emotional support. Sometimes, in places like our community, many children do not have any dreams or goals for their future. However, my children are encouraged at the center to make plans for their future. They inspire them to dream to do great things.”

Whether you sponsor a child in the Amazon jungle of South America or the islands of the Philippines or the savannah of Kenya, thank you for the huge difference you are making in the life of a child!

10 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Maria H Ferrier June 14, 2023

    Thank you so much for these amazing stories and the difference Compassion International is making in countless individual lives for now and for eternity. It has chastened me for my lack of keep In touch with my three sponsored children. It’s so easy to auto pay monthly that it can also be easy to forget the importance or what it might mean to those precious children to hear from their sponsors.

  2. Debra Barton May 2, 2019

    Thank you for giving us a view inside their lives. God is good!

  3. Yonette T April 24, 2019

    Wow. very inspiring and informative. thank you

  4. Marlene and Richard HOLMES April 24, 2019

    We ae sponsoring six cuildren, as weve just added another child! God has blessed us with this spiritual relationship! The story of the life of a sponsored child is so heart warming and i am so grateful for them! My deceased husband and I had been sponsoring one to two children for over 35 years ! God continues to provide resources with my new husband who is totally supportive of Compassion program

  5. Paul April 24, 2019

    Am inspired by the story of Ena`n may God bless him and his family, and indeed all the children of PE0555.

  6. Judy Lenn April 23, 2019

    God bless his sponsors, the Compassion Center and his parents. Through the word of the Lord, he and his family will grow in Jesus! May God richly bless all of you. It does take a village.

  7. Kelly M Ross April 23, 2019

    Happy Easter!

    Did you know the Dept. of Defense (Dear Old Dad) has a video of the U.S. Navy on a medical trip to the Amazon, “one of the most isolated regions of the world.”

  8. Deanna Johnson April 23, 2019

    I sponsor a girl in Ecuador so I was especially interested in learning about the daily life of Enan in Peru. Very well written & to see pictures of their homes & see how they live daily helps us to better understand a way of life that can be very unfamiliar to a lot of us.

  9. Ann April 23, 2019

    I really enjoyed seeing the personal side of Enán’s community. As a sponsor when I study up on a child’s country and/or city it often doesn’t come across the way it really is for the kids. Both positively and negatively. This is a really good type of blog post.

  10. JustMe April 23, 2019

    Wow, that’s neat! Except for the heat…I like warmer weather but I like it below the 104 degrees, lol 😉

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