Child: Maria Amarillo – 1st contact

Maria Amarillo


Setting: Howard High School, guidance counseling office


Hi, it’s nice to meet you. What can I tell you about myself? I’ve been living in this country for about 10 years. My parents brought me here when I was little, just after my brother died. They didn’t want the same thing to happen to me. We both have diabetes.


My father and mother have had a lot of fights. But it feels like everyone is taking that out on me and my sisters. They’ve separated us. They’ve put me in all these different homes. We’d be fine if we just all lived at the Valdez house. They’re like my family. I love Lourdes, she’s my best friend. Me and my sisters just feel comfortable over there, like it’s a good fit. Like we’re home.

My Aunt Consuela lives in El Salvador. I see her every couple of years, I guess. She’s cool. I did tell DCP&P that I’d like to live with her at one point. But that’s when I was living in the group home. Any place would have been better than that dungeon.


The Becker’s are not that bad, but they’re so strict about religion. It’s not a relaxing place to live. I love them and respect them for taking care of my sisters and taking me in. Their house is nice and they’ve been good to us. But it’s not home. And they drag me and my sisters to their church, but it’s really not like what we’re used to. We’re Catholic, and I was always taught that you have to choose your church—you shouldn’t bounce from one church to another.


Susan Becker is another story. She acts all goody-two-shoes around her parents, but she can be really mean. And I bet they have no idea how she sneaks around at night.

You should come visit me at the Valdez home. Go ahead and call them.


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