My choice was not to leave or leave my family behind. I wanted to live a life that involved no gang or criminal activity. One of the worst international organized groups had invaded my hometown and were recruiting young people. I will never forget the fateful day that I was walking home and was approached by members of this group telling me they wanted to recruit me. They tried to coerce me by telling me that joining would be a good thing. Not joining them meant having to pay them off. I had neither the money nor the desire to belong to a gang. They continuously pursued me to join, so much so that I had to sequester myself in my own home. I did not leave my residence for an extended time and decided it was time for me to leave behind all that I have known. I wasn’t even 18 years old, and there I was, having to make this life-altering decision.
I departed Guatemala, December 2019, where I arrived in the United States 13 days later. I crossed the Rio Grande River and immigration took me to a detention center. I spent 6 ½ months there until I was finally transferred to La Posada Providencia when I turned 18 years old.
La Posada Providencia welcomed me with open arms and with no judgment. They have taken care of me from day one. I could not be more grateful.
La Posada has been kind enough to provide me shelter, food, clothing, and English classes that I know will help me after resettling. Living here at La Posada has been a great experience for me. All that they have taught me will remain with me for the rest of my life.
Thank you, La Posada, for all that you do and for taking care of me!