Fatima and her younger sister Natalie were abandoned by both parents. They lived with their grandmother who was unable to properly feed them and care for them before coming to NPH. She says that what she remembers about Christmas before coming to NPH was food; they usually cooked special tamales and received gifts of chips or candy.
Christmas is an exciting time for Fatima at NPH with the goodie bags, parties, and Christmas tree. She especially loves Secret Santa. She loves talking about whom each girl has, and the secret gift exchange with her friends of hair ties and candies.
Marisol (13 years old)
Marisol's mother left her family when Marisol was only one year old. Her father was not able to take care of Marisol and her two brothers so he left them with other family members. Every Christmas before coming to NPH Marisol remembers going with her cousins to get new clothing. Presents (usually clothing, chips, sweets) were placed under the Christmas tree for the children the night before Christmas. The next morning everyone would wish each other “Feliz Navidad” and open presents. She remembers spending the rest of the day with neighbors and family having a fiesta; cooking, eating, and spending time together.
If she could have one wish for Christmas, Marisol said she would wish for the ability to travel. She would go and visit her “Padrinos”.
Her favorite part about Christmas at NPH is sharing it with friends, caretakers and volunteers. "I love how everyone comes together during Christmas time to have fun."
Marisol (far left) with her friends.