Meet Herlinda: A CentroNía Mom

Read her family’s story of resilience and reunification. 

This holiday season, as families and friends reunite after many months apart, a CentroNía family is also finally able to celebrate with one another — for the first time in six years. 

Herlinda immigrated to the United States in 2014. Unfortunately, she had to leave her sons Larry and Yesser in Honduras and it broke her heart. Herlinda found a job, gave birth to her youngest son Erick and hired a babysitter to watch him while she was at work. For three years, Herlinda tried to save enough money to bring Larry and Yesser to the U.S., but between the diapers, formula, babysitter, and other necessities, costs soared. She needed to find a different option and began searching for a child care center. 

The process was difficult and quickly added to Herlinda’s stress. Thinking back on this time, Herlinda remembers, 

“Yo había ido a otros daycares y me dijeron que tenía que encontrar a alguien que habla inglés porque no me entendían. No podían comunicarse conmigo.” I had gone to other daycares, and they told me that I had to find someone who speaks English because they didn’t understand me. They couldn’t communicate with me.

When she found CentroNía, it was an instant relief. At CentroNía, Herlinda found a caring community. She could speak with teachers, staff, and other parents in Spanish without fear of being misunderstood or disregarded. It made an immediate difference. “Aquí me he sentido en casa,” she says. I’ve felt at home here.

Having Erick at a center she could afford, with full-day service to accommodate her work schedule gave Herlinda the chance to steadily grow her savings.

“CentroNía me permite trabajar,” she says. “Eso es el beneficio más grande porque soy una madre soltera. Yo puedo trabajar porque me ayuda CentroNía.” CentroNía allows me to work. That’s the greatest benefit because I’m a single mother. I am able to work because CentroNía helps me.

Even as her family faced the pandemic, Herlinda knew they could rely on CentroNía. Teachers created virtual learning resources and CentroNía provided laptops and internet access to families, as well as providing families with fresh food, diapers, personal protective equipment, and more. With the support of CentroNía and her ability to work and continue to savereunion with her sons was finally in sight.  

Last month, after six years of separation, Herlinda was happily reunited with her sons Larry and Yesser. CentroNía helped Herlinda find a more suitable apartment, connected her with rental assistance, and guided her through the enrollment process for a local elementary school for her boys. Though nervous, they’re excited about their new school!

Your donation to CentroNía this holiday season helps ensure that more families like Herlinda’s receive affordable, high-quality education and family support at a time when such services have become more critical than everWithout you, stories like Herlinda’s would not be possible.