LITO: The Shoeshine Boy by David Mangurian

LITO: The Shoeshine Boy

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Lito Chirinos is a Honduran shoeshine boy so poor that an old electric-iron cord and a Vaseline tin are numbered among his seven possessions and his first-person story centers on his preoccupation with the food he gets by shining shoes, selling newspapers and begging. Mangurian, a free-lance photographer who spent four days with Lito, contributes sharp and, mostly, unsentimental pictures of Lito at work on the streets and kidding around with his buddy Churro. Lito's future looks grim (a postscript records that he failed to adjust to the vocational school the author found for him) yet he has ambitions--sadly, to help the mother who abandoned him and to have ""a lot of children."" He is a far cry from the relatively privileged schoolchildren we usually meet in such visits and his sober, dignified individuality makes it impossible to pigeonhole him as a statistic or case study.

Pub Date: April 28th, 1975
Publisher: Four Winds