Thursday, December 10, 2009
Said: My name is Said Victor Castillo, I come from a family of 6 siblings and I am youngest. I'm 16. My mom is Hilda Esmeralda Castillo, I never knew my father. I'm in my second year of high school and right now my main goal is to become a lawyer. My family has few resources, the same as most families in Nicaragua, but I'm sure with sacrifice on my part and God's help I can become a lawyer.
I live next door to Roberto Delgadillo. One day, I was hanging around outside and he stopped to speak with me. He asked if I wanted to be a part of the running club he was starting. I liked the idea of training. I've always liked to run, but I've never been in a track club.
I like being with Roberto, he is my neighbor and I really respect him. I heard that he had traveled to other countries (as an athlete in college) to compete and the idea made me excited that some day I could leave to visit other countries and represent Nicaragua.
Roberto: Said is very committed to his studies and is extremely disciplined. He was the first child in the club. He trains with much commitment and gets better every day. I think he has much potential as an athlete and as a student.
He lives in a home that is approximately 500 square feet with 8 family members. The front facing the main street is a concrete wall, the rest is wood and metal cobbled together. One reason it is possible for everyone to fit is because there is no bathroom in the house. Even though they are within the city, they have a pit outhouse in the small backyard where they also keep a few pigs.
As the youngest, he has suffered abuse, mostly from two drug addicted older brothers. One of his sisters, Siedys, and her husband (who both also live in the home), have taken care of Said to the extent of their ability. They provide him with clothes, food, money for school and when he was younger, they tried to protect him from abuse during the hours they were at home.
They can't always be there, however, as Siedys sews clothing in the industrial zone of Rivas and her husband is a carpenter. The Academia provides Said with a safe place to be, other friends with professional goals and an example of a different life.