Jader Rayo Luna
September 2, 2011 - Guatemala
Jader became a part of the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos family when he was 13-years-old. Joining NPH Nicaragua along with his two sisters, the three siblings moved to the Island of Ometepe, where NPH Nicaragua was formerly located. Five months into his stay, however, Jader was faced with a life-changing decision. The same nun who had introduced him to NPH only months before had returned to Ometepe to bring his sisters to the mainland. His sisters were going to join a convent.
Encouraging Jader to go with them, he headed with his sisters to the dock the morning they were set to leave. Together, they approached the boat—his sister and the nun walked ahead while his other sister remained behind, his hand firmly in her grasp. As they drew nearer, doubts began to race through his mind. Was he making the right decision? Should he follow his sisters or remain at NPH Nicaragua? In a split-second, he released his grasp and ran back toward the camioneta—the bus that had dropped them off at the dock only moments earlier. Realizing the gravity of his decision, he had a change of heart and decided to say a formal goodbye. He returned to the dock, but his sisters were already gone. Jader now recalls that as one of the hardest choices he has ever made–that morning he decided to stay with NPH, changing the course of his life forever.
Before moving to NPH Nicaragua, Jader’s childhood was fairly unsteady. As a young boy, he lived with his parents and siblings for several years; however, at age six his parents separated, changing his family-life forever. After his parents’ separation, Jader moved in with his paternal grandmother. While in his grandmother’s care, he continued with his education, completing his primary-school coursework. When he was 11 years old, he moved once again, this time to Managua to join his father who had recently began working there. For Jader, life in the capital was a drastic change from his upbringing in the north of Nicaragua, but served as an opportunity to create better possibilities for both him and his father.
With the exception of his mother, his family was reunited in the capital–his siblings living within a short distance of one another. Working alongside his father, Jader put in long days as a parking lot attendant and security guard for one of Managua’s most well-known cathedrals. With the demands of a full schedule, he no longer attended school, foregoing his education for the opportunity to make a little money. Of the small wage he earned, Jader regularly gave some away to support his sister. As time passed, he saw less of his father outside of work hours—their relationship grew more distant.
During his time at NPH, Jader finished his high school studies and completed his year-of-service, fishing in the nearby lake to provide for the family. He went on to study in the university, but returned to Ometepe mid-way through to assist the house director in his work. In 2006, Jader returned to his studies, bringing 30 jovenes (young people) with him to the capital so they could study technical fields. Together, they rented a house in Managua. Jader was in charge of the youth who lived there, making sure they fulfilled their school and house responsibilities. While coordinating their activities, Jader strived to balance his university obligations, finishing his degree in 2007. After graduation, he returned to Ometepe, and in February 2008 accepted the offer to become the House Director of NPH Nicaragua.
In May 2011, Jader assumed the role of House Director for NPH Guatemala. He moved to Casa San Andres with his wife and son, and together they have begun to create a new life for themselves. Serving as NPH Nicaragua’s House Director for three years, Jader knows what it takes to be an effective leader. For him, it is most important that Casa San Andres maintains a family environment—that the pequeños, employees, volunteers, and visitors who make up the NPH family feel they are at home when they walk through its doors.
Looking to the future, Jader hopes to focus on Casa San Andres’ onsite school, doing everything possible to ensure that our pequeños receive the best preparation possible. He would like to see the number of pequeños going to university increase in the coming years and wants NPH’s pequeños to go out into the world and accomplish great things, while always being proud of where they came from.
For Tío Jader, working for the NPH family and caring for Father Wasson’s pequeños has become a way of life. As an hermano mayor, Jader understands NPH well, making decisions from a perspective that stems from his childhood as a pequeño. Three months into his new job at Casa San Andres, we are proud to have Jader as our House Director.