tlf news

Vol. xix #1

March, 1998


My name is Omar. I was born on the 14th of May in 1976. During my childhood I didn't have the privilege of being brought up by my mother. I've never met my father. And so I have never had the chance to feel a father's punishment or a father's embrace.

My mother was very young when I was born, and she was not prepared to be a mother. My brothers and sisters (there are something like nine) don't know their fathers either. I can't pass judgment on my mother or my father; I don't know their histories.

I've only lived at my mother's side for short spurts. When we were with her, we wandered from place to place. Naturally in the course of those wanderings one of my brothers died. He died because of lack of care. I was very little, but I managed to understand that.

With time I grew, and being tired of wandering so much here and there I decided to live with my aunt. Now I call her "Mom" sometimes. At certain times I've felt the difference in the way she treats me and the way she treats her own children. But I accept that.

The time came for me to start school. As was to be expected in school they demanded various school supplies. When I asked my aunt for those things, the answer was that she was going to put me to work. And bit by bit I lost all my love for studying and I concentrated on making a living: selling newspapers, hawking candy. Nobody ordered me to do it, but I also started looking for things in the trash that could be of use to somebody. I sold them and made a little money.

To sum up my school history, I made it to fifth grade and lost interest. And as you can clearly see, I can barely write.

Adolescence arrived. As you grow up you start having a different kind of relation. As I grew I looked on the world as a pastime. As a place where you have to enjoy your youth to the maximum. And as for the others, let them take care of themselves.

I was a person who worked very hard from an early age: I worked in construction, and I worked for companies that sent me to other cities and to sprawling shanty-towns. In those slums I encountered very hard-working people. And I was earning a living and I lost interest completely in studies.

The time of amorous adventures arrived. I fell in love with a girl who was a student. As things have turned out, my girlfriends have always been students. Being with a person who was studying depressed me because of the questions they asked me. It always made me sad when I wasn't able to answer my girlfriend's questions.

But this year I'm going to try to do sixth grade. If possible I'm going to try to go back to studies. I know that I need to and that I can be of help to others because of what I've experienced. I am the coordinator of the youth group and an active member of the Church.

The barrio where I live is named Policarpo Paz García #2. It' a very lively community. The community is full of people who don't like to share what they have. The families in my community are of every type. There are families who live fairly well. But there are other families who suffer dire economic need. As always seems to be the case, the ones who are poorest are the ones who are the most generous: they are always willing to share the little they have.

There is a good school in my community. There are also a number of Evangelical churches. But the people of the community don't show up much at those churches. The people of my community go to the Catholic church. Few go with real regularity, but they go. The church building is very nice. I say that because I go to church and my eyes are witnesses of its beauty.

I live in a simple house. Without luxury. Concrete blocks and wood are the materials of which it is constructed. It's humble, but that house protects us from the rain and from the fierce and inclement rays of the sun.

There are 12 of us who live in the house. Only three of us work. That's because the rest are children or women. They keep the house clean and orderly and do the cooking. We help each other out and share our joy and our sadness.

As to my job as an actor: it's the first time I have a job that I like. And I'm very grateful to Jack and the others in the teatro. They have given me the chance to share their mission. I hope we can continue advancing as a group of workers and friends.

(Omar Orellana is the most recent addition to the teatro la fragua family.)

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