Our Residents

Panfilo Fidel Hernández Alvarez

Fidel was born on June 16, 1985 in San Francisco, Totonicapan, where he lived with his family until he was ten years old.  At this time he entered an orphanage in Quetzeltenango.  It was there that he received his first wheelchair from Mark Richard and Hope Haven International.  

They also designed as special table so he could play and use his feet to write and draw.

He became quite good at this, as you can see from the picture above.

In 2002, Fidel was moved to Obras Sociales del Hermano Pedro, and has spent the last 11 years of his life there.  It was here that his potential was recognized and encouraged. 

With the help of Nineth Cruz, a private teacher hired by Bethel Ministries, he has completed primary school there. 

It was also here that he received his first power wheelchair from Dick Rutgers and Bethel.  

He is currently taking computer classes at a computer center here in Antigua.

One of Fidel's Photoshop creations--I think is shows so well his desire to be "free!"

The hard work and encouragement of many people have gone into making his life full and successful up to this point. His move to Casa de Esperanza and the opportunity for a more self-determined life seemed like a logical progression.

As to what is next for Fidel, I'll let you hear directly from him.  Fidel writes (in Spanish, but I translated):

My life-long dream has come true
First of all, I want to thank God for giving me life and keeping me healthy.  I thank him because I am very happy that this long awaited dream is coming true.  I thank God that I have found Him, and because he has sent wonderful people into my life that He has used to help me.  I thank God that he has given me the opportunity to know Patricia, and that through her, he has given me the opportunity to live with her and have a family in my life again.  I have a purpose for my life.

What I want to achieve in my life
One of the things I have wanted to do is to find a job in which I can be useful to society.  One of my skills is in using the computer and I know that through working on the computer I can be a citizen who contributes to society.  There are people who don’t believe that a disabled person can work like other people.  I think that God made each of us in his likeness, and everyone is equal.  It doesn’t matter what disabilities a person might have.  So I want to be useful to society and primarily to God, who gave us life.

I thank him for this and that through him I have gotten to know people who have helped me achieve my dreams.  One of these is Patricia, and her friends in the US, who have made it possible for me to have a new home and a new family.  Soon I will be moving into my new home permanently, and I will have many opportunities, especially being able to work on the computer.  I will show everyone that we are capable of working and can be contributing members of society.

I want to thank everyone who has helped to make my new life possible.
I give thanks to God that he has given me the opportunity through Pat to recharge my life.  I was at a point in life where everything had become routine and boring.  I could not do anything different.  She was the person who offered me her love and understanding, and now I feel that my battery of life is full of energy again.  I have realized that a disability is really only in your mind, not your body.  I have a purpose, and I will achieve it with God’s help.