Even by Nicaraguan standards, Enrique* grew up in a home that would be considered poor. A visitor to his childhood home enjoys chatting with numerous women and children, but – even over a period of several years – no men. Trying to connect the dots between all the siblings and cousins and mothers and aunts living under this one roof is an exercise in futility for the occasional guest.
By his count, Enrique is one of 11 current and former members of this household who have attended Colegio Cristiano Havila. He was among the first. Along with his sister and two cousins, Enrique was at Havila when it opened in 2005.
It would be nice to say that he used his Havila education as a springboard to great accomplishments as those things are sometimes measured, but that is not the case. When Enrique was at Havila, it did not go beyond sixth grade, and when he started secondary school elsewhere he felt unwelcome. “I didn’t feel like they wanted me there,” he says through an interpreter. “I felt really uncomfortable, so I stopped going.”
He entered the work force and moved from one odd job to another until he was hired on to the support staff at Havila. It was like coming home. “I am so happy to work here,” Enrique says. “I am not someone to show my emotions very much, but I love it here. This is a great place. It feels like a family.”
Enrique now has his own place to live. He and his girlfriend have started a family, and there is no doubt where the children will go to school. “They will go to Havila,” Enrique says. “Absolutely.”
*Enrique’s name has been changed to protect the privacy of his extended family.