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“My name is Izzy, I am 13 years old and I am in 8th grade, I live in an at-risk neighborhood on south-side of San Jose. In 2018 I had a very normal life, with some financial difficulties, but always with the support of my mom and dad. The relationship I have with my dad is very good, we are very close. When Costa Rica participated in the qualifying rounds for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, he even promised me that he was going to buy me the World Cup album and together we were going to paste the postcards until it was full. I was very excited about it.
That same year my life changed completely, I experienced something very painful. My dad was convicted of murder and was taken to jail in handcuffs. I never thought something like this could happen and I couldn’t even say goodbye to him. After that moment, I only felt pain, confusion, uncertainty. My brother could not bear the pain, he started using drugs and a year later he died.

Being part of FundaVida helped me recover. I didn’t even want to eat, I was very sad, I was doing badly in school and I even thought about committing suicide. When the teachers realized my situation they supported me in more ways than I could imagine. I got into all the courses I could and started going to the FundaVida psychologist.

All this help has made me see things in a different way, that I can move forward and that I can have hope. It has not been easy, but over time, I have improved my self-esteem, my confidence and have started to value life more. I even started a small business selling “apretados”, selling home made ice cream.


November 19, 2021


A Changed Life