Updated: Nov 18
I want to share the story of one of our former students, Carla, an 18-year-old girl who enrolled in the Cadaniño afterschool programs in Colonia Santa Fe in 2018.
Hers is a story of the profound impact our work is having, not just in the lives of our students but in their families and communities as well.
It highlights the transformative possibilities that unfold when individuals who truly desire something more in life, are given an opportunity, and they take advantage of it.
Here is her story in her own words:
My name is Carla, I am 18 years old and a student of Cadaniño. Well, I still like to call myself that even though I don't study there.
I want to tell you about who I was before Cadaniño. I was someone who didn't know anything about technology, and I had no access to a computer, so even if I wanted to learn, I couldn't. There were many things in my life that I tried to do to see if I was good at them, but everything I tried to do, like art, I was bad at. I tried many things, and I would always ask myself, "What am I good at?"
I remember when I got to high school, everyone knew how to use a computer. My mother started looking around to see where she could find a computer course, and that is how I found out about Cadaniño. I was 14 when I joined and didn't even know how to turn on a computer. There, I finally found out what I was good at. I learned how to type properly and use Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. I learned how to take apart and rebuild a computer, and I was like, "wow, I am good with computers." It was easy for me. In one year, I finished 5 computer courses. It was incredible to learn about the world of computing.
Everything that I have learned at Cadaniño I have put into practice in my life. Once I enrolled in Cadaniño, my grades started to improve.
One of the things they teach in Cadanino that I really like, it's something really important that I've put into practice, is "It doesn't matter how little you have. Everyone has something to give." I like how Cadaniño helps us apply this, they teach us that even though we have very little, we can share with someone. It can be counseling someone, sharing something that we learned in the Bible, and this is something that I really like and have put into practice since I learned it.
I graduated from high school with a diploma focused on computers. Something I hadn't mentioned earlier is that before I came to Cadaniño I didn't have a very well-formed faith, and I didn't know much about God. Cadaniño helped me a lot, and I really miss the Bible classes. It helped me a lot to know how to be a better person, not just with the things I know, but I learned how to learn. Before this, my grades were always very low, but when I entered the program, I remember receiving help from all the teachers. It really helped me a lot, and when I had questions, they taught us how to be self-taught. I've put this into practice in my life. It's a great methodology that has helped me a lot.
Cadaniño helped me find an opportunity for an internship with Leo (my boss), and I've learned a lot from him. I've learned programming fundamentals that build upon what I had learned at Cadaniño. When you put those both together …Wow … it works great.
I have a brother that is 8 years old. I teach him what I can. I call him and say, "come learn with me" I explain to him that you use Word, PowerPoint and Excel for this. These are the things that will serve him in the future. He is only 8 years old, and I sometimes ask myself, " what will it be like when he is older?" If I entered at 14 and learned these things, and he is only 8, how will it go for him? He attends Cadaniño; it's been magnificent for him, and he loves to go.
For my family, Cadaniño has helped us a lot spiritually because the parents also receive devotionals. The devotionals they send us, we read them all together at night after dinner. It makes my grandmother very happy, my mom and my brother, and it's amazing to see that God is faithful. Thanks to Cadaniño, our family has become united.
I'm also in the mission’s club. Through this, I've learned so much about life that I didn't know. It has helped me believe that so much more is possible. One thing that I can't say enough is thank you to Tim, thank you to Sharie, thank you to Professor Eduardo, and thank you to all the people who have helped me. Most of all I really want to give thanks to God for putting the right people in my path.
I have plans for the future: to enroll in the University. I want to enroll in a program to become a systems engineer. I would really love to pursue this. This is what I ask you to pray for. I know that God is there and working, and we just have to do our part, and God will do the rest.
I just want to tell you to truly believe because God is faithful. He will always be there with you. It doesn't seem how impossible it seems to you. You might be thinking, "but what am I good at? I'm young and I don't know what I'm good at" God can show you, so seek Him, and I just really want to thank you for this opportunity… Thank you!
Carla's story is a powerful example of the enduring impact of the Cadaniño ministry. It demonstrates that breaking cycles of spiritual and physical poverty is possible. If we are willing to walk alongside those we are called to serve, nurturing their talents and helping them find the purpose of embracing the fullness of the Gospel and living out what it means to be a follower of Christ in every area of their lives.
It shows how Cadaniño is more than just an afterschool program; it is a beacon of hope, a catalyst for change, and a source of inspiration. Carla's journey reminds us of the incredible potential within every individual, just waiting to be unlocked.
Now, take this impact and multiply it by the hundreds of students in our programs, and I think you'll begin to glimpse the true extent of what God is doing through Cadaniño.
Sincerely, Timothy Martiny
Partner with Cadaniño today and impact lives for eternity!