The children who are housed at Nazareth Orphanage, for the most part, come from dire poverty, violence and abuse. Here are the stories of some of the girls who are in temporary housing at the orphanage (names have been changed):MEET THE children
Catarina is three years old. She comes from Culiacan, Sinaloa. Her mother is a single parent who works during the day and cannot leave Catarina and her sister, Maria, alone. Both are at the orphanage because there is no other family in Tecate. Catarina’s mother separated from her father because it was an abusive relationship. Catarina has a beautiful smile and is attending kindergarten. She was baptized while at the orphanage.
At twelve years old, Isabella has already had a tragic life. She is originally from Tijuana where she lived with her great grandparents. They are now having health issues and cannot see well, nor would they let Isabella go to school. She was staying with her great grandparents because Isabella’s father is incarcerated and her mother was killed. She joined two brothers at the orphanage when she arrived a year ago. Isabella appreciates how well the Sisters take care of her and how hard they work to feed all the children. Isabella is creative in ways to help with younger children at the orphanage.
Rosalee’s mother was a single parent in Tijuana who abandoned Rosalee when she left her with another woman temporarily and never returned. The woman who was caring for Rosalee cannot afford to take care of her. Rosalee, who is eleven years old, joined a brother at the orphanage when she arrived. Rosalee is communicative and likes to swim.
Alicia is nine years old and has been at the Nazareth Orphanage for two years. She is from Culiacan, Sinaloa, also. Her mother left her father because he abused both her and Alicia. Now Alicia’s mother is a single parent who works and cannot take her children to school. She does not want to leave her children alone. Alicia has one sibling at the orphanage. Alicia likes being at the orphanage because “the nuns take good care of us, and I have friends to play with.” Alicia is a very well-behaved child and does her homework. She has been baptized and received her First Communion while at the orphanage.
Ana is only five years old and has been at the orphanage for one year. She comes from Tijuana. Ana’s mother separated from her father because of his abusive behavior. Now, as a single parent who works, Ana’s mother cannot care for her children. Ana has one sibling at the orphanage. She likes being at the orphanage because “the nuns are very nice and feed us well. We have bikes, and we are able to go to school and to Faith Formation. Ana is very loving and hopes her mother is well.
Olivia is seven years old and comes from Durango. When Olivia’s mother died, her father moved to Tijuana in order to find a job to pay for food and rent. This left no one at home to care for Olivia and her other siblings. Her father is ill and also needs a knee operation, but he continues to work anyway. Olivia joined her three brothers at the orphanage. What she likes most about the orphanage is that the “Sisters take good care of her, she can go to school and she eats delicious food.” She also loves the swimming pool and riding bikes. Olivia is studious, playful and has a good imagination. She worries about her father.
Julina originally lived in the mountain area of Durango, where her mother died of a gunshot wound. Her father was far away at work and was not there to help her mother, and so she succumbed to her wound. Now Julina’s father is unable to care for her or her siblings, since he is ill and also works full time. Julina joined her three brothers when she arrived at the orphanage eighteen months ago. Julina loves the Sister who cares for her and her two teachers. She also likes to play with the other girls at the orphanage. At only five years old, Julina needs extra love and care after so much loss.
Nine-year-old Rosa has endured many tragedies in her life. Rosa is from Tijuana where she lived with her grandparents, who are now in ill health and are too impoverished to care for Rosa and her siblings. The reason Rosa was living with her grandparents was because her father is in jail, and her mother was murdered. Rosa joined two siblings at the orphanage when she arrived a year ago. Rosa appreciates that living at the orphanage gives her the necessities of life including food, being able to attend school and having other children with which she can play. She also loves swimming and riding bikes. Despite the tragedies Rosa has endured in her life, she is very loving with people who surround her and shows leadership abilities.