Maribel arrived at NPH Bolivia in 2005 with her older brother.
Within the first year of NPH Bolivia opening its doors, Maribel* arrived with her brother when she was 4 years old and now, after 15 years at the home, Maribel is completing her year of service and looking forward to starting her university studies next year.
Before arriving at NPH, Maribel and her family lived in La Angostura, a small town located 46 kilometers south of the city of Santa Cruz, sitting on the eastern edge of the Andes mountain range of the Cordillera Oriental. Her mother passed away before Maribel’s turned 1 and her father left home for extended periods of time to work to support the family.
“I do not remember much of my life before Casa Padre Wasson, but I do remember being alone at my house with my brother while my father was away working,” Maribel recalls. “And sometimes my brother would stay at his friend’s house too so I would be completely alone.”
Before she turned five, the decision was made to bring her and her brother to NPH. With the new scenery and new people, the first few weeks were especially difficult for the young Maribel.
“It was difficult coming to the home at first because I did not want to leave my father,” she explains. “I was a really shy person when I arrived because there were so many people here that I didn’t know and I had no friends.”
As her first year at NPH passed, Maribel started to feel more comfortable and confident and began to make new friends. She filled her time with all the events the home put on and she especially enjoyed celebrating the children’s birthdays each month.
Now after 15 years, Maribel has seen first-hand the opportunities that the home provides and how she has been given the chance to change the course of not only her life, but her family’s as well.
“Through my experiences here I have become more responsible. I’ve improved my studies, learned how to work hard, and strengthened my faith,” she says. “I am so thankful to be able to use what I learned to improve my life, the life of my family, and to help others in need.”
One of the more special parts of NPH, according to Maribel, is how everyone is one big family. That sentiment is felt strongest during the holiday season.
On Christmas day, the home begins the day by handing out of the gifts to every child next to the Christmas tree. In the evening, the younger children act out scenes of the Nativity play in front of the whole home. After the play, the home eats a special dinner together and then dance throughout the night.
“My favorite part every Christmas is the dinner because we can all be together like a family and share a meal on this special day,” she says. “We are all like brothers and sisters to each other and everyone is smiling and having a great time.”
Christmas is quickly followed by the New Year. As 2021 approaches, Maribel will be concluding her year of service where she has worked in our storage and purchasing department as well as six months working as a caregiver in our youngest house, San Gabriel.
As one chapter ends, another begins. Maribel will start her university studies in the city of Santa Cruz where she wants to study either accounting or architecture. She looks forward to being able to see more of her friends and family who are closer to the city and to start the next chapter in her life.
“In the coming years, I hope to be able to finish my studies with good grades, find a job, travel either by myself or with my father, and spend more time with those who have become my family,” Maribel says.
With her eyes on the future as she continues on the road to success, she will never forget the impact that NPH has had not only on her, but her family as well. She is thankful for the opportunities she has been given and will never forget how her life changed once she arrived at NPH.
“At NPH we are all united together as a family and are given the opportunities to achieve our hopes and dreams,” Maribel concludes. “I also wish you a Merry Christmas.”
*Subjects’ names have been changed to protect their privacy
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