Hilda lives at the Mother of God girls’ home and attends the St Vincent de Paul School, part of Chalice’s Amanacer Site in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Hilda is not sponsored by Chalice, but the school and home receive support from our programs. She wrote her story, in Spanish, and wanted to give it to me when I visited her school. She gave me permission to share it with Canadians at home. A little punctuation has been added to the translation for clarity, but otherwise remains intact.

On the Path of Life – By Hilda

The Home Where I Am

My name is Hilda. I am 14 years old, born in the community Yanatama. I have a brother who is 19 years old, but I am in the Madre de Dios [Mother of God] Home of the Amanecer Religious Foundation, belonging to the Daughters of Charity, whose founder is Saint Vincent de Paul.

Reasons for Staying at the Home

When I was a child, I lived with my aunt thinking that she was my real mother but with the passage of time I found out that my mother was another [woman], then I and my brother had to go with her. In that house I did not study, I only attended [to] my stepbrothers, the duties of the house, and I suffered a lot because my stepfather used to hit me for any little thing that I did wrong.

One day I escaped because my stepfather threatened to kill me, but also my aunt found me and my mom came, brought me to Cochabamba, bought food,left me eating and never saw me again. So the fundamental reason for my stay at the Home is ABANDONMENT.

The Importance of the Support that the Centre Gives Me

At the Home I have already received 5 years of personal development in every aspect, in regards to issues about areas or dimensions referring to the body, spirit, emotions,the mind and personal relationships. In a nutshell, I receive comprehensive training through what the educators and the Sisters of the Daughters of Charity have prepared, even those who work in the kitchen would teach us to chop vegetables to prepare us for the future.

The Value of the Education I Receive at Saint Vincent de Paul School

Well, my first family is the Home where I receive a whole training program. The Saint Vincent de Paul school is my second family where I receive training in different areas. Here I learned to write and to read. Everything I am now is thanks to the St. Vincent de Paul school. For it I thank the director, teachers, to the secretary and my schoolmates; in some moments that I was sad or could not do some exercise, they helped me and I learned a lot from them.