July 3, 2017

Franchesco

** Faces has begun a new collaboration with the newspaper titled “Folha de América”. We want to introduce the newspaper team of immigrants behind the project through their stories. **

World Youth Day in 2013 brought me to Brazil. It was an experience that left a significant impact and forever changed the course of my story and life. After this experience when I lived in Rio de Janeiro as a volunteer, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to be at the service of the neediest and remain connected to the Catholic Church. I was able to meet Pope Francisco during the journey and because of that I assumed the name Franchesco. It was only two months of volunteer work during World Youth Day, but it was enough for me to have a great turning point in my life. Previously in Bolivia I was manager of a company and worked with imports and exports. But I have not abandoned my dream of being an entrepreneur. I decided, after this experience of volunteering, to stay in Brazil and went to live with my aunt in São Paulo.

Living in another country is never an easy experience, especially when you have family and friends who have remained in Bolivia. The feelings of solitude were heavy and I was not accustomed to it. The day of my birthday, September 27, was particularly sad, and I felt so alone that I decided to go back to Bolivia. But when I arrived, I understood that my place was no longer there, it was here in Brazil and I came back to stay. I went to work as a volunteer at Missão Paz and also at the Center for Support and Pastoral of the Migrant (CAMI). I lived here in Sao Paulo and every Sunday I went to Praça Kantuta, in Pari, to kill my longings for Bolivian food.

In Bolivia, I was raised by my grandparents and I missed them so much when my grandmother died in 2010 and soon after, in 2012, my grandfather passed away. They were, for all intent and purposes, my mother and father. My mother abandoned me when I was six months old and my father went to live in Argentina. My grandparents were everything to me and left me an inheritance which allowed me to study. I have a degree in international business from the University of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. The undergraduate program has been indispensable in my life.

Since Bolivia, I have always worked both in the church and with communication. When I was 15 years old I was a catechist and from there my passion for communication was born. I began to spread the works of the parish where I participated in Las Mercedes, Montero, which is 60 kilometers from Santa Cruz de La Sierra. In 2007, I started my first blog. I have always had friends in the area of journalism. Later, I took a digital journalism course and set up a religious portal in Bolivia to tell other countries what was being done in my country. Here in Brazil I have worked at two newspapers, the Puerta Del Sol, for the Bolivian community, and, currently, the Folha da América, which serves the entire Latin American community. The crisis in Brazil is very difficult, but my mission continues – to do good and to act in the right way.

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