Manuel comes from a family of alcoholics. His grandmother is an alcoholic, and his mother is one too. His mother has also been diagnosed with a mental disorder. She would abandon him and leave him to fend for himself. This became so frequent that his grandmother became the primary caregiver. She would take him to work on the streets with her. The authorities stepped in and placed Manuel in a Guatemala City orphanage. This was not a good place either and eventually closed down.
When he walked through the gates of Casa Angelina, he didn’t know what to expect. He had such a depraved life to that point that it all was overwhelming at first.
However, with so many friends, playgrounds, a school, food every day, and soccer training on Saturdays(!), Manuel has found his home! He has been grateful from the first day.