long have you both been at Amigos de Jesus?
Reina: I will have been here three years in July.
Edwin: In October it
will be three years since I’ve been here.
were you and what were you doing before you came to Amigos de Jesus?
Reina: This is my first
job out of college. I got my degree in
journalism and then
began to look for a job, and I
Edwin: Before I came
here, I was also studying at the university in San Pedro
did you hear about Amigos de Jesus?
Reina: I saw an advertisement in La Prensa (the
newspaper). I came to Amigos
first, and then Edwin came.
Edwin: At that point there weren’t many men
(padrinos) working with the kids at
Amigos, there were mostly
madrinas. When I came to visit Reina, I
liked it here, and so I applied for a
position here after a few months.
4. What is your favorite part about being a
padrino or madrina at Amigos de Jesus?
Reina: We get to share in the kids’ lives;
because we’ve been here for almost
three years, we can see how
they’ve grown and developed, how their
behavior has improved.
Edwin: The sincere love that the children offer
to everyone. Also, to Reina’s
point about seeing the kids grow
and develop, I was one of the first
padrinos to work with the
chiquitos (small children). I was there
the first three chiquitos (Kati,
Kenia, and Sylvia) moved from the
chiquitos dormitory to a dormitory for
either of you have a favorite story about one of the children at Amigos de
Edwin: Jeymi has always
been a little jealous of Reina because she considers me to be her dad. She doesn’t like when Reina stands next to me
and tries to get in between us. A similar situation happened with Luan (Reina
and Edwin’s three-month-old baby
boy). When Jeymi found out we were going to have a baby, she was
angry and said she was not going to love the baby. Once I reassured her that even though I was
becoming a father and would have my own child, that
wouldn’t change the relationship that she and I have, Jeymi began to be
excited for the baby to come and said she would love and care for him.
Reina: It was the same for me with Jeymi when she
was little. She was very
attached to me and didn’t like when
I would talk to Edwin on the phone.
I would try to put her on the phone
and she would say, “No quiero hablar
con ese feo!” (I don’t want to talk
to that ugly guy!)
Edwin: I remember Jefferson
being a little temperamental as a toddler.
he started crying at three o’clock
in the afternoon, “Papa Ed-win! Papa
Ed-win!” I tried to comfort him,
but he still kept crying and crying. At
ten o’clock that night everyone
had gone to bed, and all you could hear
was Jefferson crying, “Papa
Ed-win! Papa Ed-win!”
Reina: I remember when
the children were baptized in 2014, they gave me seven
godchildren! Of all ages!
Edwin and Reina: One of the best memories is when some of the
kids came to
visit our house in La Lima during
the October vacation last year. The kids
are always asking us what we did,
what we ate, where did we go when we
come back from descanso
(break). When the kids came home with
got to see our lives at home and be
a part of them. We took them to the
beach, out to eat, to the
movies. They met our families when we
Juan de Dios’s birthday. Juan became
close to Reina’s grandmother—he
still asks how she is all the
time. It was a really great
is it being a new parent while being a padrino/madrina to the children at
Amigos de Jesus?
Reina: It’s the most
important job, but it isn’t as complicated as I thought it
would be. Being with the chiquitos prepared me quite a
Edwin: The support that
everyone here at Amigos has given us to be able to bring
Luan here has been very
helpful. Being a new father is something
beautiful. I came here with some experience changing
diapers because I
used to help care for my little
cousins. Then I changed Cecilio and
Jefferson’s diapers. At this point with my own son I am a diaper