You grew up at Amigos de Jesus. How old were you when you came to Amigos?
I was 12 years old.
How many years have you been an employee at Amigos de Jesus?
I’ve been an employee for 4 years now.
Where do you and your family live now?
We live in Posas Verdes (a village right down the road from Amigos).
Do you enjoy living and working in this area?
To me, this is a magnificent place. You have the forest, the river, the peace of the country, but San Pedro is only a couple of hours away if you want to spend time in the city for a day.
How has Amigos de Jesus changed since you arrived here as a child?
The number of children has grown; there were 15 boys (including me) when I came here, and now there are 129 boys and girls. There are many new buildings and staff and less open space. There was a cornfield where the newer children’s dorms are now, and there were small vegetables gardens where the chapel is being built. I lived in dorms 6 and 7 (the older dorms attached to the comedor) when I was here.
You are in charge of the daily activities in Agro (the farm at Amigos de Jesus). Were you always interested in agriculture when you were young?
Yes, always. When I came from Copprome (a children’s home near El Progreso) to Amigos de Jesus I really liked the country.
What do you like most about your job?
I like all the activities—taking care of the animals, planting crops, clearing the land.
Tell me about a typical day in Agro.
We start the morning by milking the cows and then bringing the milk to the kitchen. Later we bring the cows and horses to pasture. Then we feed the pigs and chickens and clean their pens. After that we do various activities like repairing fences and clearing brush and weeds, planting or weeding the plants. We clear the brush and the weeds from the pastures and around the perimeter of the property so that the animals will have more to eat and so that they can find the plants that they need the most. Another reason we clear the brush is for better visibility and more security. Later we transfer the cows to a different pasture and water the cows and horses.
In the afternoon we continue with the morning’s activities until about 2:30pm when we start to prepare to milk the cows again. After milking the cows, we move the horses and cows to their corrals where they are locked in for the night. Finally, we make sure everything is in order and that the valves are closed so that we don’t waste any water.
Do you have a favorite story about a child or a youth at Amigos de Jesus?
I don’t have a favorite story, but there are a number of kids here who I’m really close to because when we call them to come help us, they come help. Of the younger kids, Jose is a great helper, as are Miguel and Daniel. Luis and some of the other older boys help on the weekends when they’re not in school.
A number of the children and youth are very attached to you and follow you around Agro when they’re not in school. What are your hopes for them and their future?
I want to see them grow in every aspect of their lives—spiritually, emotionally, professionally. I want them to be prepared. I would like for them to learn about everything: welding, carpentry, construction, farming, and whatever profession they decide to do, whether it’s being a doctor, lawyer, a teacher, etc. I want to help them when they’re older, and I always want to be like a brother to them.