Just Kids: Jesser and the Sugarcane

Godelieve Eijsink

Jesser is 11 and lives with his parents and sister in Nicaragua, in a small stone hut among the trees. He gets lessons from Cristhian in a communal garden, where he conscientiously tends the plants. He loves plants, but he doesn’t like sugar cane. Sugar cane is the major source of income for this poor community, but it’s also notorious for making people sick. Jesser’s father is one of these people; the long days working under the hot sun have destroyed his kidneys. His illness is incurable and he could die, like the father of Jesser’s cousin and best friend, Jocelyn. Sitting among the sugar cane chewing on the stalks, Jesser and Jocelyn talk about what they want to do with their lives. Jocelyn wants to become a doctor, so she can save lives, and Jesser wants to start an agricultural business on his father’s small plot of land. With a machete, he works the field where he wants to grow all kinds of vegetables one day – anything except sugar cane.


Godelieve Eijsink
Netherlands, The
Documentary, Short
15 minutes
children and youth, poverty