Below is the story of Gabriela, a little girl at NPH Mexico reported by Erika Klotz, Project Coordinator.
Gabriela is a nine-year-old girl who came to NPH with her older siblings in October 2011. Gabriela and her 3 siblings lived in a very small village in a rural area of the neighboring state of Guerrero. The siblings came to our home as a result of extreme poverty. Gabriela’s parents are illiterate. Her father is a farmer, however the soil of the farm is very poor, and he was unable to provide his family with nutritious meals or proper clothing. It was difficult for Gabriela and her siblings to attend school on a regular basis due to the distance along with the cost of travel. The state of Guerrero is the most poverty-stricken state in Mexico, and many of our children come from this area due to poverty and the violence.
Gabriela and her three siblings have received a new start at NPH where they have proper nutrition and attend school every day.
Gabriela’s new start has involved a lot of changes in her life, but she is learning a lot and doing very well at NPH. Her caregivers all agree that Gabriela is kind and extremely helpful. “She likes to help put things away and is always offering to help with chores,” says one of her caregivers.
Not only is Gabriela eager to help others, she is also hard working in school. Gabriela comes from an indigenous community in Guerrero where the language Mixteco is spoken. She did not speak Spanish when she arrived at NPH. However, despite the challenges that come with moving to a new home, starting a new school, and making new friends, this dedicated nine-year-old is learning Spanish quickly and thriving in school! “There are still words that I sometimes do not know, but I like school a lot,” says Gabriela while seated with her friends at lunchtime.
When asked about her new home at NPH, Gabriela responds, “I like it here a lot because I have a lot of new friends who are like sisters.” As active as any young child, Gabriela stays busy between school, homework, and participating in her favorite activities. She really enjoys playing soccer, learning to swim in the pool, and spending time reading princess books in the library.
Gabriela’s siblings are also doing very well at NPH. She has two siblings who are at our home for younger children where she is, and one older sister who is completing her first year of high school at our high school home. Although she misses seeing her sister, the two pass notes back and forth with volunteers who travel between the homes. When a volunteer from the high school home sees Gabriela, she gets a big smile on her face and eagerly asks how her sister is doing, how she spends her time, and what she did the previous night. The volunteers happily relay stories and after hearing them. Gabriela is content that her sister is doing well and enjoying NPH just as she is.
Gabriela also has three cousins at our home for younger children and one cousin who is in the same grade as her sister at the high school. These eight children’s lives have all been filled with opportunity upon arriving at NPH, and they are really enjoying it.