The Girl who Helped

Anayeli, a young woman who is just weeks away from entering university, talks about her life at NPH and how she has positively impacted those around her.
July 3, 2017 - Mexico

Anayeli with the baby she cared for

At Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos™ Mexico, I was lucky enough to spend my year working with the Kinder kids, little girls and boys between one and six years old, in Miacatlán.

Though working in this section was quite challenging at times, being a caregiver there definitely had its benefits: hugs, kisses, laughter, love, and lots and lots of candy. However, a wonderful, yet unforeseen advantage of choosing to care for these children was having the opportunity to work directly with Anayeli, a girl who is on the brink of concluding her two years of service in Miacatlán before she heads off to university.

Anayeli had the ability to bring so much joy and happiness to some of the longest, most tiresome days over our working weekends. She was able to manage the children’s behavior without ever raising her voice, which generated respect for her by both employees and volunteers. Overall, Anayeli was able to lift the spirits of those around her without even trying and made life at NPH even sweeter than it already was.

Since Anayeli was such a pleasure to work with, I decided, as my volunteer year at NPH was coming to a close, to sit down with her and find out a little bit more about her life.

Unfortunately, her father died when she was a young girl and her mother was quite poor and lacked the basic necessities required to care for her children. For these reasons, Anayeli joined the NPH family when she was two years old. She has many brothers and sisters that were also raised at NPH and she is able to see them, along with her mother, when she has her days off. Her loyalty and compassion have also encouraged Anayeli to remain friends with many of the girls she was raised with in Kinder.

As she grew older, she became interested in dance, and her passion and dedication allowed her to travel to the United States on multiple occasions with the NPH danza group to show off her skills and learn a little bit about the U.S. culture.

After graduating from high school, Anayeli worked briefly with the six to eight year old girls, but then she switched to Kinder. One of her greatest responsibilities throughout the last year was taking care of the baby who arrived when he was only eleven months old. On her working hours, she was the primary caregiver for the baby; she changed him, fed him, bathed him, and comforted him when he was upset. Anayeli let me know that caring for this child taught her a great deal of responsibility and showed how much work is required to raise a son. Regardless of the difficulties associated with directly caring for others, she plans on studying nursing at university.

As I prepare myself to head back to Chicago, I think about how different my year at NPH would have been had Anayeli not been there. She made my acclamation period easier, taught me Spanish, showed me the best food in Miacatlan, and helped me change my first diaper. I know from the bottom of my heart that Anayeli will be a lifelong friend. I can only hope that each and every new volunteer that comes to Mexico makes a friend who is just like her.

Aaron Ruder   
Communication Officer

You may be only one person in the world, but you may be all the world to one child.
—Fr. William Wasson




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