"It doesn’t matter where you come from, but where you are going."
I was born in the city of Puebla, two hours southeast
of Mexico City. Apart from a few vague memories, I know very little about my
mom. My dad was in prison when I was born, and growing up I moved around all
the time, living for short periods of time with different family members. When
I turned 7, my dad was let out of prison, but he was violent and taking drugs.
I remember he used to beat me up. My mom was also hooked on drugs, so my
great-grandmother let me live with her. The truth is I don’t hold any hard
feelings against my mom. She must have been going through a really tough time
While living with my grandmother, I managed to study
up to the fifth grade of primary school. Then one day, without notice, my dad
reappeared in my life. He had married again and had a new daughter who was
three months old. I decided to spend Christmas that year with him, and I saw
that he had changed. He was no longer on drugs. I wanted to try living with
him, and took the opportunity to move in with his new family. I hoped to be
able to continue studying, but he had other ideas, and sent me to work with him
on a ranch.
It wasn't long before I started running into problems
with my new stepmom. She started making things up about me, and telling them to
my dad. After a while it became too much to deal with, and I decided it was
time for me to go. At 13 I left home again and started living on the streets.
In Puebla I heard stories of the adventure, excitement, crime, and violence of
Mexico City. I became gripped with a fever to move to the city, but more than
anything else, to learn and study, with all the museums, exhibitions and
historical sites that I had heard about on TV. One morning in September, I
headed to Mexico City. My stories about my life on the streets of Mexico City
could fill an entire book, but I would prefer to concentrate on how I came to
Casa Alianza Mexico
One day I was working on the streets of Mexico City,
selling underwear on the main square (Zócalo), when I was approached by members
of the Street Outreach Team from Casa Alianza Mexico
. They spoke with me
about beginning a new life at Casa Alianza.
What interested me most was
that it would give me the opportunity to re-start my studies. I decided to
take the chance.
The decision was life-changing. At Casa Alianza
I finished not only primary school, but also went right through to complete
secondary school, and with good grades. Then I enrolled in high school. I am so
grateful to have made this change in my life, and to have found the love and
support at Casa Alianza
. I finally have the opportunity to study
continually, develop my ideas, and express them with as many people as
One of my major recent successes was finishing the
first year of high school, with excellent grades. Last summer I won a
scholarship to participate in an English language course in San Antonio, Texas.
On returning to Mexico I gave a speech in the Engineering Tower at the National
Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). I concluded it with the words of
Archimedes, which could not be more apt for me: ‘Give me a place to stand, and
I will move the Earth."
This is an extract from Eduardo's autobiography, which
was published by the UNAM. It won an honorable mention in an essay competition
run by the University. Eduardo continued studying, and has won scholarships to
take courses in English and computing.
In 2010 Eduardo started a work-study program. On May
13th 2011 he graduated from Casa Alianza Mexico. He currently lives
independently and continues with his high school studies, but he remains very
much part of the Casa Alianza family.