July 15, 2011 - Nicaragua
From young age his father was not in his life, and after his mother was killed when he was only ten years old, Mauricio went to live with his grandmother. She lacked resources, however, to take proper care of him and his two sisters. She was not able to give them healthcare, education, and food, and thus, at age 14, Mauricio became part of the NPH Honduras family. Among the first persons he met was Father Wasson, who received him with a hug, a small slap on his back and the words ‘welcome home.’ It was not until a few days later that Mauricio realized who this priest really was and how important he was within NPH. Over the years he had the opportunity of seeing him on several occasions, and feeling his love for children and the inner peace he had.
On entering NPH Mauricio, though being 14 years old, had not finished primary school, so he did so in NPH, as well as secondary and his bachillerato, which included vocational training in the field of electronics. Having finished all of this and having given his second year of service, Mauricio decided to leave NPH–he felt the need to prove to himself he could survive outside NPH, and also wanted to help his grandmother. After having worked for two years, he was asked to come back to NPH Honduras. So Mauricio started to work with the year of service youths, and after that proceeded to work with the vocational traineeships, preparing the youths in every possible way and finding traineeships, places to live, etc. Mauricio also worked with former pequeños, helping some of them with starting small businesses, visiting them and making sure the contact with pequeños was not lost once they left the home. Both the traineeships and the former pequeños program already existed, but Mauricio made them grow. He thinks this is why he was considered for a promotion that brought him to NPH Nicaragua where he started his work as house director last April.
Mauricio before enteirng NPH
Coming to Nicaragua was no easy decision, as he had to leave behind things he had worked hard for. He does regret moving, but "to achieve some things, you have to leave others behind." From the start Mauricio has felt well at NPH Nicaragua. Something that has motivated him to do his work well has been the affection of the children, who are very friendly. He likes to talk, play and share with them. In them he sees a great need for love, affection, and being heard. Mauricio feels very well doing what he does, giving back part of what he once received.
Mauricio tries to lead by example, especially with respect to personal improvement. He tries to always look at the good things, and forget the bad ones, he tries to elevate the self esteem of the pequeños, and make them feel they are important. Mauricio tries to teach the pequeños to be social, to practice values like respect, modesty, honesty and to follow the philosophy of Father Wasson.
Mauricio says, in the past he could not do this without crying, that the greatest pain he ever felt was losing his mother. For the only ten-year-old Mauricio the death of his mother was hard to accept, and created in him resentment and hate towards the world. He felt God was unfair to him, and would ask him every night why he did not have a mom and dad, just like other children. But in the end God gave him something much bigger than that–being part of the NPH family. Mauricio now feels that through this experience God was preparing him, and brought him further than he probably ever could have imagined. Today as house director of Casa Padre Wasson, Mauricio is responsible for 220 children and youths, and though just a few months into the job, he has already won the affection of the children, who have recognized him as yet another member of their extended family.