My name is Ricardo Echavarria, I am from the Dominican Republic. I am an older brother from NPH – Dominican Republic
I was 10 years old when my family came to NPH. You see, I am 1 of 6 children. I have 3 brothers, Orlando, Roberto, Eduardo, and my 2 sisters, Argentina and Esperanza who died a few months ago in a traffic accident. My mom knowing that she was about to die, because she had made plans for my brothers, sisters and me to come to NPH. We all came except Orlando, who went to stay with one of my aunts. The day after we arrived at NPH, we received the news that Mom had passed away.
We were in complete shock, and even the transition home to NPH was very difficult, especially knowing that our mother had passed away in those days. Our dad was still alive, but he didn’t play a part in our lives and a few years later he died too. I did not know this at the time, but NPH would become my home and family. And over time, I realized that this was a family place with a lot of education and discipline. The people at NPH took care of my brothers, sisters and me all the time until we all left NPH. An education and a place to keep our dreams alive and my family together.
Life at NPH was different, we could play outside and play with others. Chess is still my favorite game. In addition to this I learned that I love to read. Pablo Coehlo favorite writer, one of his books that I have loved reading the most is The Alchemist.
Thanks to NPH, I am where I am today. NPH has opened my eyes and given me the gift of an education and the opportunity to visit other countries, which has been more than a dream for me. I applied three times to go to the Seattle Institute program, when I was finally successful. It has always motivated me to visit other countries. So far I have been to Guatemala, Canada, El Salvador and the USA where I was able to be with other NPH leaders and learn English.
I am currently studying Bioanalysis at the Universidad Central del Este. I work at NPH as head of the IT department and now I am in the Communications department. My vision is to finish college and continue working for NPH. NPH has changed my life and how I see things today in an impressive way, since I have learned a lot about serving others and having empathy with everyone, as I met Father William Wasson, although I was very little I remember that he always who came to the home brought us sweets and always with a smile on his face. He was already in his wheelchair but that was never a limitation for him, since even so he continued to visit the other NPH homes.
Investing my energies into NPH, who has protected and cared for me when I most needed it, makes me feel so proud. I can use my talents and experience to support a new generation of children who also need help. Casa Santa Ana is my spiritual home, and it is where I can help others in a selfless way. I hope that you can do the same too.