AMIGA OF THE WEEK ~ Madrina Carolina

Madrina Carolina is a dedicated and beloved caretaker of our kids at Amigos. She brings to her role as madrina an energetic, spunky, and caring personality that not only brings the children joy, but makes them feel loved. She has been a madrina in Hogar 6 for nearly two years, and she says her boys there are very special to her. We are so sad to say that on December 4th Madrina Carolina will be leaving Amigos to pursue a second degree in physical therapy and psychology, but we are proud of her decision to continue her studies. She will be greatly missed!

Read below to learn more about Madrina Carolina and all she is for Amigos de Jesús:

  1. Hometown: La Lima (a suburb of San Pedro Sula)
     
  2. Joined Amigos de Jesús in: January 2015
     
  3. How did you first hear about Amigos de Jesús?
    I saw a post on Facebook that Amigos was looking for caregivers for the kids and I decided to apply. I had just earned my degree in Special Education at the time, so I liked that I would be working with kids at Amigos.
     
  4. Have you been able to use your training in Special Education in your role as a madrina?
    I would say in many ways yes, even though the majority of my degree was spent learning about how to help kids in a school setting -- creating curriculums for kids with dyslexia, for example. But I have been able to use my training in many ways here, mostly in talks with the kids or in helping them with their homework after school. The two youngest boys in my dorm are learning how to read right now, so I have been able to use my knowledge to help them with that. I enjoy working with them on their homework.
     
  5. Has your role as madrina changed at all since you first arrived at Amigos de Jesus?
    When I began, the kids were still living by their age groups, so I began by being a madrina in the dorm with the pequeños, boys around ages 8-12. But about a month after I came, they changed the housing set-up to the seven family-style homes that the kids live in today. It was then that they put me in Hogar 6, with the boys I am with now. I was so happy to keep working with boys! The boys in my dorm now are ages 6-17, so the age range I am working with has also changed a bit.
     
  6. What is your favorite part of being a madrina? 
    There so many things! One of the things I love the most is when a child is having a tough moment, like a temper tantrum or a fight, and I am able to really help them work through that and find a solution that works for them. Of course, that doesn't always happen, but in the times that I am able to sit and have a good chat with a child once they have calmed down, those are some of the best moments of my job.
    Apart from that, I also always try to take in the small moments with the kids -- a moment when all of the kids are playing well or behaving well at once, or when they show affection by giving a hug or saying something nice. I try to hold on to those moments.
     
  7. Do you have a favorite memory from your time at Amigos de Jesús?
    One of my favorite memories happened just recently when one of the youngest boys in my dorm, who is 6 years old, broke his arm last weekend and they sent me to go with him to get surgery. We had to stay overnight there, and although it was hard and he was in pain much of the time, we also had some really nice one-on-one time together. With so many other boys in the dorm, I am never able to give him as much attention as I would like, but this weekend, I was with just him through the whole surgery, and we also got to spend relaxing time together.
    Another favorite memory is when my team won the Christmas soccer tournament at Amigos last year. I had never played soccer before in my life and I thought I was going to hate it, but as we kept winning games, I kept liking it more and more. It was so fun to win alongside the kids and I realized I was pretty good! Now I love soccer!
     
  8. What is a hope you have for the future?
    One of my biggest hopes, whenever I finish my studies, is to one day come back to Amigos de Jesús -- whether it be working, or at the very least visiting and volunteering when I can. Once I get my degree in physical therapy, it would be wonderful to work with the kids through physical therapy, or if in the end, I am able to get my degree in psychology, maybe working in that here, too. God is the only One who knows for now. But I definitely want to continue to visit, especially my boys in Hogar 6!
    But I would say one of my biggest dreams at the end of the day is to one day run in to one of the kids outside of Amigos and see them graduated and living on their own happily and successfully -- whether that be one of my boys from Hogar 6 or any of the kids from Amigos. Just knowing that I was able to put some small grain of goodness in their lives to help them along the way. That is my biggest wish for all of the children at Amigos -- that they become successful and fulfilled adults.

Madrina Carolina passing out tamales and café con leche to her boys in Hogar 6 last Christmas.

Madrina Carolina (far right) and her winning soccer team from last year's Christmas tournament!