The Guardado Perez family is originally from Guazapa, El Salvador. Sofia is the oldest of her siblings at 11 years of age. Her mother, Rosa Guardado has had to work day and night to support her family. Rosa married a man named Mauricio and with him had two children, Sofia and Jose Manuel. When the latter was born, the father abandoned the home due to alcoholism.
Rosa and her family faced rough times when her husband abandoned them, as Rosa did not count with any type of employment. It was at this time that Patrick Atkinson, along with Asociación Nuestros Ahijados, decided to integrate the children into the project so that their quality of life could improve. The family lived in less than adequate conditions with a house made of adobe and old metal sheets. Upon seeing this, Asociación Nuestros Ahijados constructed a small house for the family and provided them with beds so that they could have somewhere to sleep. When the father, Mauricio, realized that the family´s economic condition had improved he returned to the home. The results of his return were that Rosa became pregnant before her husband abandoned them once again.
Currently, the family is made up of Rosa, Sofia, Jose Manuel, Daniela, and Mauricio, the last of which, is the son of another man that did not accept this responsibility. Sofia is in the fifth grade and Jose Manuel is in the third grade. Sofia has the desire to one day be someone in this world and for this reason she always tries to get the best grades possible in school. Asociación Nuestros Ahijados is providing the family with clothes, shoes, food, medication, and a small amount of money each month among other things.
In 2012, Sofia´s Godmother, Teresa Tallon, visited her and observed that Sofia had dental problems; the Godmother also covered all the costs the family had as a result of this. Rosa comments that since her children entered the project at Asociación Nuestros Ahijados they have had a different outlook on life. Due to the help that the project has provided, the children now enjoy the benefits of an education and share joyful moments at school. The children are very grateful to be a part of the project, since the reality they faced a few years ago is nothing compared to the benefits they now have.
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ITEMP Director of Operations