Maria and Ali
Then and Now
We first met Ali Salvador in March 2015. As we visited the home of his aunt Maria we were instantly struck by the bright smile of this boy as he prepared for school. His excitement was contagious and he shyly showed off his new shoes, part of the school uniform received from the container program at ACAF.
His smile, however, belied the painful life this young 11-year-old boy suffered. Shadowed in that smile was the loss of his mother and father. It showed no sign of the life-threatening illness he suffers.
After the death of his parents, Aunt Maria (Maria Angelica Bruno Queszada), compassionately took him into her own home. Maria, with five children of her own and a meager income, wasn’t sure of how she would care for her little eight-year-old nephew, but she trusted somehow she would manage.
Setting aside her own dream to complete school, her sense of family duty and love for her nephew triumphed. She focused her energy on the children, taking in laundry to earn money for food and school fees.
For a time, unbearable struggles sent Maria down a dark path of drug and alcohol abuse. It was a troubling time for all. But the resolve in Maria to care for her family led her to seek help. Help came in the form of the mission.
Little by little, piece-by-piece, the puzzle began to come together. Psychological therapies and medicine for Ali were offered. Bus tickets to Lima for treatments and schooling for the other children all became a part of their weekly existence.
Today, Ali is a thriving 16 year old. The other children are studying for careers in the educational programs and Maria expresses, “The hope for my family is to maintain this very positive emotional stability and comply with my nephew’s treatments so we all will have a much better future.”
Her selfless nature, undying faith, and help from the mission gave a remarkable turn to Maria’s story. She leaves us with this; “May God continue to bless every donor and their families because you remind all of us, thousands of kilometers away, that we are ALL Brothers and Sisters under God Our Father.”