The following summary is a copy of a report carried out in the year 1999 that gives us an idea of the community.
MIGUEL RODRIGUEZ AND HIS CHILDREN
There is who sustain that all people has a certain destination and that for more turns that she gives the life, the destiny happened inexorably. Perhaps that is the explanation for Miguel's history RodrĂguez, a man that transformed his life when suffering a terrible loss, the one that at the same time allowed him, paradoxically, to carry out a marvelous social work
THE INCOMPREHENSIBLE DEATH
12 years ago , Miguel RodrĂguez had quite normal life. He had formed a beautiful family and he had three children. He worked as director in an agency of news and he lived well, with all the comforts to those that any suitable family could consent.
Their life lapsed as always, when he was informed that his smallest son of six months had suffered a heart failure, he had to be taken to the emergency room of the "Boy's Hospital". He could arrive and see him some seconds before he dies because of a heart attack . From that moment there was a deep change in their interior and he was never the same one again.
Suddenly he noticed those children of the street (abandoned) with lack of money, coat, food and home, but they had life.
"My son had a heart attack and they revived it, he was well, but it lasted him three minutes, he looked at me, he smiled me and he had a massive heart attack and died. All my arrogance was deflated in that second, the fact of to have and not to have a lot. That made me change my attitude of life. When I left the hospital I founded two children of the street, they requested medical attendance, they didn't assist them, they were very dirty, they smelled bad, they were children of anybody and they didn't have two suns (half dollar) to pay, because they surely expended their money consuming terokal (shoe glue used as a drug). I met with that image, me with my boy and with money, them without money but with life. There I realized that they were really hugged by God and that they lived not with an invisible thread as us, but with a rope very tied to him. He gave me a lesson of love, impressive father's love, they could live, God has taken mine, he surely needed him more than I."
THE BEGINNING OF THE CHANGE
From now on Miguel RodrĂguez left to the street to the encounter of those children. "I decided go to look for these boys, I buried my son and I promised a thing to God that would make a war to make the children to be worthy. The days passed, I went to the street and I met with the ingrate surprise that they are not 50 or 100 children, they are not the four or five that you see in television stealing, they are thousands of small children, they are children that walk down the street with the hand of God and we don't realize, it is an impressive social debt that we have .
"I began to take them food, medicines, I became a different person with a limited commitment, I went to my work and at night I was with them". He lived this way some time until one day, I had a complicated situation that would end up changing his style and rhythm of life.
"In a moment four children told me: I no longer want to be in the street, I want to live with you, you are good guy"; then the human being's weakness made me say No. I thought, a moment, my commitment is to give food, but not to take them to live with me. I had two children, (now I have three again, the thin gave me other back); then I got a non complicated life until at the end one of them cried and he told me "I no longer want the street, I want to be with you."
I took the four with me, it was the first happier night of my life, neither my marriage neither anything had been so beautiful, I felt that I didn't walk, it flew with them. We arrive at the house, we had dinner, I killed myself of laugh with their histories, the following day I got up and I didn't find them, they had left.
I asked me "why?", and asked the 'thin' (god), "what happened?, you gave me a candy and now you take it away from me, I want to make something but if you don't want, I will not make anything". I decided not to go to the street, I decided to return to my work, I decided be a standard Christian again, that night I was reading my newspaper, they call me to the door and they were the four children, they put the head and they told me: "we have returned", with a total and absolute patience. I was with anger, with anger, I went back and I asked them what had happened, they told me : we went to look for our friends because they also want to live in your house; I take out the head and saw eight boys more, a lesson of these children's love."
It is probable that Miguel RodrĂguez didn't imagine the consequences of his acts, neither the magnitude of the work that had already begun. He took the things that he had and he moved with his family and the group of children to a dessert in a poor Human establishment , on the north edge of Lima. He requested that land to the authorities , and was given to him
"My department was very small and my problems began with the neighborhood. Those were hard moments for me and my wife, to know that a lot of friends turned against us. I remember that I went to the park (with the kids) and people left immediately because my poor children looked different. At the end we decide to sell the house and we came here, to this sandbank. I made my first house, in the one that now the carpentry shop is, we were no longer 12 but 20, 25, 30, I sold the car, I sold all that had, there wasnothing else, then I said I will finish selling me, we begun to make our first business.
Trying to leave the difficulty we made birthday cakes, I never before had made it in my life, but I learned, we begin to make bread in cans, we made all that we could, we sold it and we realized that we were capable of many things. But there it happens us something very strong, the police came, it stopped me, they accused me of children's kidnapping (for living with the abandoned children) and at the end they wanted to make a "deal" for ,000 dollars to set me free. A priest friend took out me and at the end anything happened because neither the children were taken, I began to make the legal steps to be an institution and I denominated it "Sacred Family".
"We were already legal , but this continued growing. There already were 50, 60 children, the first girl appears, we made the first house for girls, we begin with a lot of effort to make our shops better mounted."
THE SACRED FAMILY
Last May 13 the Community Sacred Family celebrated 12 years of foundation. The creation of the community, according to its founder, was born as consequence of the things of the destination. In that sense it sustains, "I have always been a Christian, but 12 years ago I was a Christian without work, this because I went to the church , it felt well and I was very concerned in making my christian meetings with my friends in my house to pray a while and later to take a wine, but I believe that God and their roads have things for each one of us":
At the moment in the community live 208 children, of which 90 are girls (this article was written in 1999). Each one of them is a different universe, there are orphan children, condemned parents' children to life imprisonment, and an endless number of cases, harrowing some of them.
"The tribunal of children sends them to us, we also pick them up, and sometimes the parents come to leave them because they don't like them since they escape. There is also who are interned in rehabilitation centers, alcoholic fathers, drug addicted mothers.
"There are two girls that are here and that their parents have been condemned to life imprisonment by increased terrorism, the biggest has nine and the minor is seven years old. Their parents have been sent to Yanamayo (terrorists prison on Peruvian mountains), others parents are on other jails"
"In the Community Sacred Family we only accept children from two years up to 16 as maximum. Until that age we have to form them in carpentry, bakery, ceramic, and to look for jobs for them. I have 20 that are about to leave and we try to accommodate them in different companies, but is very hard due to the high unemployment situation we have in Peru." (this article was written in 1999, now the community has children since 6 months old)
Once they have turned 16 years, the youths should abandon the community and leave to live alone. They won't be able to return in the following three months, not even of visit, this to demonstrate that they are leaving ahead.
"Yesterday we said goodbye to one because it had already completed the age, he is playing in a team of professional soccer, he studies the high school and we get him a work in a carpentry, also a room and he had to say goodbye to leave a bed free , another boy will arrive today, we have a list of 600 children to enter, but we have nowhere to put them, there is no space. We grew a lot, we wanted to be the 12, but we have grown in geometric proportion and if tomorrow I leave to the street I bring twice as much."
For RodrĂguez the worst thing that can be made to these children is not to give them an opportunity.
"I believe that they deserve dignity, they don't deserve to be insulted, they are treated as criminals, the newspapers writes about street children stealing but the don't know whathunger is, they don't know what isnot to have a father or to have it but that he is more a problem that a solution, they hit them, they mistreat them, there are parents that have broken the bones to her children, there was a father that hit with an iron in the head to a girl and that he thrown her away , we are with her in the middle of treatment, in her third surgery. There are parents that have made atrocities, burning the feet or hands of their sons, even making sexual violations, and we fill our mouths saying they are criminals , perhaps God comes in form of a homeless kid, because he won't always have a beautiful face, maybe have a cut face, aface replete of pain and anguishes."
In the difficult road that Miguel RodrĂguez took he never stops to find obstacles that are not more than a test of his faith and stability. The doubts in occasions take possession of him.
"I doubt many times and I have received impressive lessons of these children's love.10 years ago I decided to close the house because we didn't have anything to eat, we didn't have absolutely anything, I was without money and I gathered all the children and I told them: I don't have anything to give you , there is no longer food, there is not clothes we don't have anything, I am leaving with my family, take you all that we have here, blankets, mattresses, pots, glasses, take everything, leave me alone with my life, I can't give any more . The poor kids left the house they grabbed what they could, all crestfallen ones, we were as 40 or 50.Near the I opened the door and there were them all behind the rain, here is atrocious cold at night , they were seated with all that had given them, I opened the door and they began to enter, I don't tolerate those things, imagine, it is a phenomenal lesson.
The last one that happened to me was when I felt that I didn't give more, I was bad,I had to receive a surgery and one of the children stops and he told me, "Teacher" there is a solution here, still smiling: and the 'thin' (the way they call God), have you forgotten him?". I realized that yes, had I forgotten him and that there wassomebody that will help, now I am with 200 and don't I think of closing unless they put me prisoner for anything, don't I know, do I have problems with everybody for debts, do I owe a lot of people, obviously, any person that lends me also know that I won't pay him, at least those that know me, but I make the intent, are there moments in those you need urgently some money
It has been difficult for the community to get everything what we have now and it is terrible that for lack of resources we are loosing some things. This because the land where the community is located it is not walled and we have been victims of systematic robberies.
"They have stolen us practically all our ceramic, the only thing that we have is the oven, they have been taken the lathe, the tools, now we are returning to buy but I no longer know what to mortgage". But as well as they suffer this type of problems there also happen things that encourage them to continue. "The government elections agency, for example, without knowing us, has done us a great favor, thanks to them we are eating. They requested in rent seats and tables for computation of the president elections, we present ourselves and we won kind of a bid."
But it is not so much thanks to them, it is the result of your efforts, of your work...
"Exactly, but you don't know how good was for us that we had a second elections process, the thing has been perfect, because we had the rent of the furniture for one month, but as there is a second process , we have now two months of rent, the two candidates have helped us unintentionally, without knowing and thoseare the hands of God, he enters where one doesn't imagine".
There are things that have spent in the life that one cannot believe, for example I have 208 children and all go to the school, all with uniforms. I have a group of friends thathave given us a quantity of uniforms and the rest have begun to appear fromsomewhere around, some friends comes and tells us "I have an uniform that doesn't serve me"
There are a lot of disinterested people that helps us, people that he doesn't like to appear but to contribute.
Perhaps you always had the social vocation, but your wife, how she adapted to this change
For her it has been very difficult and very hard.
For her it has been hard, to understand that it happened overnight and that I am like I am, she has gotten used and she gives me support, now she is faithful at my side, but I believe that I am not making of what I should be sorry.
It was very hard, there was a lot of cry, but now she is convinced that what we are making is not joke, I made some decisions and she loaded the bundle at the end. We decide to continue, we have never had fights , she accepted, we advance in this and sheis here by my side.
She doesn't sometimes think that this radical change affects the opportunities of her own children
My kids are very well, they have more brothers , they go to the same school, they study in the same place, they eat the same thing, they play the same games. The difference is that, logically they are my children and there are moments in that I am basically dad of them. They have sometimes asked me why I am not normal and I tell them: the problem is that the others are not normal, we are normal, and they tell me why we are so many, that is always the question I try to find an answer for, but they got used very well and they now live as friends with their "new" brothers
Now my bigger daughter is 14 years old and she already entered San Marcos (public university), the second is 12 and the last 8 years.
The Community Sacred Family is a great home, you can feel it since you enter and go for a walk across its facilities. It is good to see that these children of so difficult and diverse origin can take a calm and productive life, feeling loved and assisted in their basic necessities. The result:smiling and affectionate, educated and responsible children. Inside the community the house of visits exists, in the one that any person can end up staying for one week to live with the children and to support with their presence this noble work. The diverse range of products they offer are also and the possibility to be able to have hard-working youths, of occupation and good family, of course.
Miguel Rodriguez, the founder
a group of children of the house of the little ones