boy with nun
Armando with Sr Hortencia in Guadalajara, Mexico

Early life

The Sisters describe Armando as “a simple, intelligent and dedicated boy”, who joined their school in August 2023, but his life has been devastated by the loss of almost his entire family to violence.

Armando lived with his parents, younger sister, cousin, and six month old baby sister near Zapotitlán Tablas, in the state of Guerrero. The family were simple farmers, working the land to grow corn and beans. They were starting to raise a few cattle, goats and horses to try and make more income to support their struggling family.

Armando was offered a place at the Sisters of Mary Boystown in Guadalajara and he joined in August 2023. He returned home for Christmas vacation in December 2023. In early January, when he returned to the Sisters he told them that he had lost everything in a fire.

At 6pm one evening in mid-December 2023, armed men entered the family home, shooting and killing his mother, father, younger sister, and cousin. The men set fire to the bodies and the house, destroying everything, and chasing Armando’s grandmother from the home. An aunt came over at about 10pm to discover the six month old sister alive, though no one knows how she survived.

Armando sitting at a dinner table with his classmates

Life at school

Armando has been receiving, and will continue to receive, specialist support from the school’s psychologist, to deal with the trauma and loss he has experienced.

Sister Hortencia has told us that “he arrived very sad, but thanks to God, he is calmer. Armando has been left practically alone with his baby sister as his only next of kin.”

The traumatic events that Armando has experienced and the extreme violence his family suffered is unfortunately so prevalent in many parts of Mexico. Armando has the love and community of the Sisters and his friends at school to help him through this difficult period, and we continue to work so that children like Armando can live safe, and secure, and receive a quality education and care to help them towards a better future.