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Today was a busy day! I visited the street kids of El Tanque with At Risk No More, and then we drove two blocks down the street to spend some time with María the Doll Lady, who everyone has grown to love from the movie Reparando.

We greeted her in the street, and she immediately invited us into her house.  We brought María a scarf made by someone in Tita’s workshop.  After presenting the scarf and taking a photo we began to talk. María detailed several ways in which Reparando has blessed her.  We were humbled by her immense gratitude.  She mentioned that her life is simple. She works, but only has one obligation, and that is to follow God.  Over and over she shared with us how God has provided everything she needs personally and for her business.  She is very grateful for the work that she has and the blessings that Reparando has brought her.  She even mentioned that she feels a little like a ‘celebrity’ because of the film.  People that have seen Reparando have recognized her within the community and around the Potter’s House.  Her grandchildren also find it amusing when they see their grandmother appear in a movie!
María invited us to the back room of her house where she used to work and store all of her dolls.  However, the room is now less full than it has been in the past, because with so much work she had to find another location down the street to work and keep the dolls.  This room had several finished dolls lying on a bed, but its walls were lined with bags of baby clothing that has since been donated to her through different organizations.  Organizations have donated both money and clothing to María upon seeing the Reparando and being touch by her story, and inspired to respond.

María also shared with us that she has been so blessed that her work has now extended beyond working with the dolls.  She has started working with paper recycling to keep her even busier.  Her kids often urge her to stop working, or at least cut back. But she says her body is used to it and she does not want to stop.  God has blessed her with health and with work that she loves, and therefore she will continue to do it.
Throughout our conversation, she told us about her family, about her work and about her neighborhood.  She told us of kids who sleep in the street outside her house, who never caused trouble or violence, but could always be found sniffing solvent.  She talked with Gary and Rachel of At Risk No More about their work with the kids of the streets, and mentioned El Tanque, a central location where At Risk No More and Athentikos are pursuing change for the kids in the street.  She mentioned Marvin, a young man of El Tanque, whose family lives just across the street from her.  We told her that we knew him and she laughed a little saying that he was like family to her, explaining that her nephew lives with Marvin’s sister.

I guess I shouldn’t be shocked that character from Reparando knows and shares family with a character of Becoming Fools.  Qué mundo tan pequeño!
-Ericha Penzien

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