This fourth story in a series about recent high school graduates from our partner community, the Sagrada Familia children’s home in Peru, is about Rosita Betel Durán. Just like many others in Peru, Rosita’s education has been delayed due to the pandemic, but she still looks ahead with hope. Above: Rosita working in the kitchen with a Global Volunteer.
Rosita, what was your journey to Sagrada Familia?
I was born in a small, rural village in the Huánuco region, where I lived with my parents and four siblings. When I was five, my mother passed away when my sister was ten months old. So my dad had to take care of us five, including the baby. It was a really tough time for us. When I was nine, my sister brought me to Lima to find a place for us to grow with more opportunities. She first took me to a place that I didn’t like. So we went back to our village. But at the end of that year, when I was ten, we returned to Lima to live at Sagrada Familia. Since then, I’ve been living in the Community. But I’m still in contact with everyone back in Huánuco. I talk to my dad, my siblings, everyone. I see them every couple of years.
How would you describe your childhood at Sagrada Familia?
Funny. For me it was funny. Because when I came everything seemed new to me. I had to adapt to a new way of living, and it was really exciting for me.
The Community seemed so big to me, compared to my house. Children were playing around and having fun. So I wanted to join them. But I remember my sister telling me that I had to wait. Then when I went to the dorm I was assigned to I felt weird at first because there were so many children I didn’t know and a lady that took care of us. I was so shy and intimidated. But soon a girl came and talked to me. We became friends. Then I was just friends with everyone.
I still wanted to be with my sister. She was in a different dorm. But after a while I was fine. So I would say that at first it was awkward, but then I felt like this was my home. This is now my home.
“When I was five, my mother passed away. I had a ten-month-old sister then. So my dad had to take care of us five, including the baby. It was a really tough time for us.”Rosita Betel Durán
Can you remember a time you were disappointed? How have you learned to overcome difficulties?
There’s just something I always remember. We always had sports tournaments. It was the biggest thing for us. I love soccer. Most of my free time I used it to play soccer or volleyball. My team usually won all the time, and I was super happy and confident. But this one time we were about to win the tournament, but we lost in the finals. It was the worst thing for me. It was my freshman year in High School, and I still remember the loss to this day!
I’ve heard people saying that I couldn’t do something, that I would fail at my dream of becoming an actress for instance. You hear comments like that from people. But I try not to listen to that. I try to focus on doing my thing, trying to make things work out. Although sometimes I also fail or make mistakes when I try to do something, and that makes me and others doubt my abilities.
But over time, I saw people that would come here to do theater. I liked what they did. So I would practice what I saw. When there was a chance for me to be at a play or show in the community, I always wanted to be there.
What are you currently doing to prepare for your future?
I graduated from High School last year. In the short term, I would like to go to college and study theater and graphic design. I would like to study and finish my career.
But honestly, I believe studying theater is going to be really tough because that major is expensive. So I don’t think it’s going to be possible. But I have looked into graphic design and fashion design as well. There are some technical schools that I can go to, so I plan on applying next year.
“I had hoped to start studying this year, but the pandemic made it impossible. So now I try to help out younger kids with their school chores at the Community. I like learning new things. I like to try new things. I read sometimes as well.”Rosita Betel Durán
What has been your experience with Global Volunteers?
They have helped me a lot, especially in English. I have had great experiences with the volunteers who have come. I like them.
They also help us academically because they come to be with us and are really patient with us when they teach us. They have always treated us nicely. I believe a person learns more that way.
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