Lessons in Love and Life: The Unexpected Benefit of Vitamins

March 10, 2017

Originally published April 1, 2016

Jose Eduardo is excited to begin school soon and learn about letters, numbers, and more. But thanks to the power of vitamins, his mother learned a valuable lesson recently as well.

We met Maura only a few days before her son, Jose Eduardo (age 3.5), was scheduled to start school in their community of El Cedro, El Salvador. His excitement was palpable; at one point, he rushed into their house and returned proudly wearing his backpack. His energy was indicative not only of his anticipation for school, but also of the benefits of the vitamins he’s been taking.  

Maura, who also has an 11-year-old daughter named Leslie Marisol, noted that ever since Jose Eduardo began taking multivitamins, he’s had a greater appetite in addition to more energy. He likes his vitamins so much, in fact, that he usually asks for more – he said they taste like candy. For a growing boy about to start school, his eagerness to take vitamins is a good sign. By staying healthy, he’ll be more likely to avoid illness and make the most out of his budding education.

As we spoke to Maura, Jose Eduardo continued to play and show off his toys, animated and carefree. In contrast, Maura shared that the living conditions for her and her family are not without their struggles. On a typical day, she shared that she wakes up early to do chores and clean. Notably, she has to walk a couple of miles down and up steep, bumpy, and unpaved roads to a river in order to wash clothes. Access to food for meals is a struggle as well; the prevalence of rain makes it difficult to grow crops, and they are forced to sell most of what they grow as a source of income.

Despite their daily challenges, as Jose Eduardo scooted around on his horse, Maura shared an unexpected benefit that vitamins have had on her relationship with her son. She said that as the result of Jose Eduardo’s newfound energy, she has to spend more time chasing after him. In turn, she learned how to play with him - a lesson that elevated their bond as mother and son. Her words were a heartwarming testament not only to the physical benefits of vitamins, but the emotional ones as well.

View the original piece and full photography at vitaminangels.org.

Photo credit: Sophia Billikopf for Vitamin Angels