An open letter from NPH Guatemala
Hi everyone. My name is Francis*, I am from NPH Guatemala and currently I am in my last year studying psychology.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my story and my thoughts about our current events around the world.
I am so proud to be part of the NPH family. You see, I am a big family person, my brother and my sisters mean so much to me…and so does my NPH family.
For a little over 7 years of my life, my mom raised us in a small town in Guatemala. I have 3 sisters – Miriam, Gladys, Johanna – and 1 brother – Rudy. I was the youngest. My mom and I have always been very close.
As with all working moms, she did the best she could for us – making sure we got an education, 3 meals a day and the hope of a future. Cleaning houses and taking care of others kids was her job, but the time to do all of this took time away from us. Miriam, my older sister, ended up taking care of us most of the time. I have always seen her as my second mom.
As we got older, it became too much for her to manage it all on her own as a single mom, and for her to also give us the quality of life that she wanted us to have.
It is clear to me that if I had continued to live with my mom, I would have only made it to 6th grade, and I would not have had all the opportunities to study and be where I am today. And she wanted me to have those opportunities.
You might be asking, why was she alone in raising us. Well, my father left us when my mom was 5 months’ pregnant with me. I have never met him, or any of his family.
I remember when I arrived at NPH with my brother and sisters. I was very small, just 7 years old. It was February 9, 2000. Yes, the transition was hard. But over the time, I adapted. I had no idea that we would be given everything – delicious food like chicken, rice and tortillas. I always looked forward to Wednesdays, because we ate my favorite food – hamburgers!
And we were given an education, something that I would learn to greatly appreciate as I got older. A dream I have already accomplished was to study abroad. Two years ago I was so lucky to get a scholarship. I moved to the United States (Seattle) to study English and leadership. That is something that I will never forget. This opportunity, like many others, has changed my life and the way I see society. Now I can say that I am a different person and I want to give back my support to the NPH family in many ways.
Now I want to talk a little bit about the situation that the whole world is going through. At the very beginning of this year I did not expect that something like this pandemic was going to take hold of our lives. I mean, our way of living has changed completely, school was canceled for all the kids, we are still in quarantine, we are not able to see most of our relatives, we cannot go outside and do outdoor activities with friends. Basically we are not living as usual. We don’t attend classes in person, but we have all the support from our professors and teachers from their houses. We also have some different activities in the home. Of course, we are doing all this to avoid COVID-19.
But this pandemic has taught us to value everything we have, value our friends, family and beyond. Since the pandemic affected our country, we have seen many declines in our society. There are more people suffering in different ways. Fortunately, in NPH Guatemala we are safe living in the home. Yes, we are suffering from the quarantine as well, but our health is good. Thanks to all of our donors and sponsors we have our needs provided every day.
I want to give a huge shout out to all the caregivers. We are receiving all the support from them. They have been living with us since the quarantine started. They are doing the best in their jobs with the kids. We know that they have their own families outside NPH, but despite that they are sharing with us during these tough times.
Thank you to all the wonderful people who make the dreams of thousands and thousands come true all around the extensive NPH family.
Children’s names, marked with an asterisk, have been changed to protect their privacy.