What a Candy Bar Sale Reveals about Life in Palomas

In a bountiful world, some children may not find their desires easy to attain. (File illustration)

When Juan Rascon, Border Partner’s General Manager, encountered a 5-year-old boy selling candy bars in a downtown Palomas street, he agreed to purchase one. Then, he began a conversation with the lad. They exchanged names, and Juan discovered that he knew the child’s father.

“Why are you selling candy bars?” Juan inquired.

“Because I want to buy an electronic tablet,” responded the boy, “and I’m making money to buy it.”

“Tell your dad that you have a new friend named Juan Rascon. He knows me,” replied Juan as he left.

Juan returned home and consulted a few people. Among them, they found a new electronic tablet that no one was using. They charged the tablet, so it was ready to use.

Then Juan went to that family’s home and asked the father if the boy was there.

The Surprise Revealed

“Do you remember me?” Juan asked the 5 year-old.

“Yes, you’re my friend Juan.”

The two shook hands, and Juan continued: “I have a deal for you. Would you like to trade me a candy bar for a box I have for you?”

The boy looked at his dad, who commented: “Sounds like a good deal for you!”

But, turning back to Juan, he admitted, “But I’ve run out of candy bars.”

“That’s no problem,” replied Juan. “Whenever you have more, you can give me my candy bar.”

Then, Juan reached into his car, grabbed the box and presented it to the lad.

“Open it in front of your dad,” Juan suggested.

The boy’s eyes widened as he opened the box. “It’s a tablet!” he exclaimed. He teared up and hugged Juan.

The dad said, “Thank you. He’s been saving for his tablet.”

And Juan responded, “Now he can save for something else that he’d like.”

Questions without answers

When Juan was small, and growing up in Palomas, he also worked to buy things because his family was poor.

“It’s good to learn to work to buy what you need,” he told the child.

A productive life is better than an aimless one, he reasons.

As Juan reflected on this incident, we can gain some insight into Palomas life.

A 5-year-old is too little to be working. But, here in Mexico, we see that all the time. I’d rather see them selling something than doing something unproductive. If kids grow up with time on their hands and not doing anything-–that’s when they get in trouble. But his dad is teaching him how to work, so that’s good.”

“And now,” concluded Juan, “I have a new little friend.”

And, perhaps in the retelling of this story, US citizen-partners of Border Partners have gained a bit of insight into the social situation in Palomas.