Setting sail for a brighter future

Jorge off to school

THE STORY OF JORGE DANIEL

Written by Franciscan associate Francisco Nava Garcia

I met Jorge one Saturday morning when I was a new volunteer at our children’s library. I still remember my first glimpse of him: a timid little boy in the corner of the room, silent, his skin the color of the earth. Perhaps all he needed was a little attention in order to bloom.

Jorge is from a family of four women, including his one-year-old niece. He is the only male. The members of the family have noble aspirations which, unfortunately, they do not follow through on. Jorge was experiencing severe neglect. His family environment was putting his future in jeopardy. It looked to me like he was at risk for dropping out of elementary school and subsequently falling into some type of addiction or criminal behavior if nothing was done to correct his course.

We started thinking that getting him into a healthier environment could make a huge difference in his life and his future. Near my home, about two hours from Cuernavaca, there is a YMCA home for children known as Camp Camohmila. It is a place where children from backgrounds of poverty and neglect are given a new start in life. We began to talk with Jorge and his family about the possibilities this would offer him.

I remember the day we first mentioned the idea to Jorge. We made a paper boat together, and made a deal: we would launch the boat in the little stream near Camohmila on his first visit to their campus. Imagine my surprise when he arrived the day of his visit with that little boat in his pocket. He put it into the water, and together we watched it sail away in the current.

With the consent of his mother and under the blanket of care of our Franciscan family, Jorge was accepted at Camohmila and began his new life. Even his two big sisters gave their approval. The image of his face when we left him there for the first time is engraved in my mind. He was determined not to cry as he began a new life in a new home, with people he did not know. Although they were there to give him unconditional support and love, he had no idea what his future would hold.

A year and a half later, Jorge is blossoming. We are catching glimpses of a new Jorge: a boy with a promising future and a generous heart, a boy who is well on his way to becoming a responsible adult and a loving person. And he promises to remember where he came from and always lend a hand to his family.

Francisco Nava Garcia, Franciscan associate

LA HISTORIA DE JORGE DANIEL

A Jorge lo conocí un sábado en el que apenas estaba iniciando a asistir como voluntario.  Tengo la imagen de un niño en un rincón, un chiquito taciturno de color de piel como la tierra, a  la que sólo le hace falta  ser removida y rociada un poco para así poder dar fruto.

Un poco de su historia…

Es miembro de una familia de 4 mujeres (incluyendo a su sobrina de casi un año de edad), siendo él el único hijo varón.  Sus miembros son de nobles sentimientos pero van a la deriva y eso es lo que a Jorge lo pone en un riesgo fuerte. Riesgo de, no terminar más que su educación primaria, de caer en algún vicio y parar su  camino para llevarlo a ser un hombre de bien.

Viviendo a dos horas de camino, pensamos en que sería una manera de rescatarlo de ese casi inminente destino, trayéndolo al Campamento. Llega a Camohmila cobijado por la familia franciscana, con el consentimiento firme de su mamá, apoyada por sus hijas. La ocasión en que le comenté la idea que teníamos, recuerdo que hacíamos un barco de papel y nuestro trato de que lo echaríamos a un riachuelo cuando el visitara el lugar del que le hablamos. Cuál fue mi sorpresa que  el niño traía en su pequeño bolsillo ese barquito confeccionado aquél día y juntos lo vimos deslizarse por esa pequeña corriente de agua.

Tengo grabada la imagen de su rostro el día que se iba a quedar por primera vez en la instalaciones…  vi la confianza en él de no llorar al vernos partir y quedarse con unas personas desconocidas que, aunque estaban por brindarle un apoyo incondicional, él no sabía bien a bien que le deparaba.

Ya con año y medio de haber ingresado al programa de becarios de la YMCA,  en Jorge se puede  vislumbrar  como un chico con un futuro prometedor  y no puede disimilar, a su corta edad, la generosidad que posee.

Jorge Daniel Villegas Tetatzin es el nombre de futuro adolescente, joven, adulto responsable,  y amoroso que promete voltear hacia atrás y tender la mano a los suyos.

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