In many ways Alvaro* represents everything that makes Amigos de Jesus such a unique and transformative place. He is in and of himself a singular, wholly original young man. Alvaro has particular interests and particularly comic and affectionate personality traits. He is an integral part of Amigos, just as Amigos is a part of who he is.
Alvaro is an accomplished mimic; he can mold and shape his voice so that not only can he say certain English words with spot on inflection, but he can memorize a song in Hindi and sing it almost perfectly (he cannot speak either of these languages, by the way). Alvaro could easily become a radio personality, or at the very least a radio or television sound technician; when he washes his clothes at the pila behind my hogar, I am consistently amazed at the distinctiveness of his speaking and singing voice and at the different mechanical sounds that he is able to produce.
Alvaro is quite affectionate, freely giving hugs, squeezes, and pats on the back. He also loves to draw and color. Alvaro can often be found in the evenings sitting quietly in front of the office with his headphones on, immersed in creating some work of art. His drawings are often vibrant and colorful, just like him.
At one point during his young adulthood, Alvaro decided to spend some time away from Amigos, perhaps as a means of gaining a different perspective or to test his newfound independence. However, eventually he decided to return to the place where everyone is welcome—especially someone who brings such a wonderful energy and creativity to our community. Alvaro has been formed and shaped by Amigos, and now as a young adult of nineteen years, he continues to transform us.
~ Genevieve Volpe, 2015-16 volunteer
*name changed to protect privacy