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Erica's Travel Adventures

Casa Aleluya update

GUATEMALA | Monday, 25 March 2013 | Views [360]

Casa Aleluya updates:


I have grown absolutely in love with the children and staff at Casa.  I don’t know how I am going to be able to leave them!  I have become friends with the women who work there and am in love with every kid I work with.  They have all stopped calling me gringa (for the most part) and call me Erica (actually, Elica).  I have learned so many of their stories and they are all so sad. 


There is a girl who is about 15 months old whose mom was 13 when she got pregnant with her.  Her mom and her were both taken to the orphanage, but the mom left soon after.

Another girl who also has a teenage mom (the girl is 3 and her mom is 15 right now) comes just for the day because her grandma works at the orphanage.  Her mom used to live at Casa but got sent somewhere else because she got pregnant again.  Another girl, also about 15 months is there because both of her parents are drug addicts and alcoholics.  I’ve seen about 5 new kids come in, and each one of them is terrified.  They spend the first few days at the orphanage by themselves crying when anyone comes near them or curled up in someone’s arms.  It is awful. 


At one point, a new little girl and her sister came to Casa, and I have gotten to know the older sister, Karen, who is 15 because she always comes to visit her sister.  She cried for the first week every time I saw her.  We talked and she would tell me that she misses her mom and wants to go home.  She asked me if I could take her on the bus with me to her house and if I had a phone that she could use to call her mom. I had to tell her no.  She was miserable.  I spent a lot of time with her.  She told me she wants to go to the United States to work and study.  I helped her with her English homework one day, too.  She is a sweet girl, but she is very angry.  She got into a fight with another girl one day, and I saw her getting on the bus with some women from the orphanage one morning.  I asked her little sister where she was and her sister said she didn’t know.  I was worried so the next day when I didn’t see her again I asked Irene, the woman in charge, where Karen went.  She told me about the fight at the she almost got sent to the city to another facility for kids with behavioral problems, but that luckily the man in charge of the orphanage, “Papi,” decided to give her another chance.  Irene also told me that Karen and her sister are at the orphanage because after her parents got divorced her mom started dated someone who is abusive.  They have 3 other siblings who are still with her mom because they were at school when the police came to the house.  I am so glad she wasn’t sent away because it would not have been good for her.  I saw her last week and she told me that she is going home next week permanently to be with her mom again.  I really hope it is because the boyfriend is out of her life. 


I don’t know how I am going to say goodbye to these people.  I spend a lot of time in the kitchen with Sandra and Carla and have become friends with them and also with the women in the baby room, Stefanie and Blanca.  I am already trying to figure out another time to come back to Guatemala so that I can stay at the actual orphanage and spend more time there. I have two more days left with the kids and I plan to make the best of it!  I am going to buy a piñata for my last day with them.

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