Today is a sunny day in Copán Ruinas, something that is lately a rarity because of the downpours that have daily visited town for the past few weeks. Outside of Casita, everything is returning to its usual self, loud noises of old tuk tuks move up the street and children get to play and enjoy the sunlight. Inside Casita, large storage boxes line up the hallways and decorate the offices. They seem to be waiting to be placed in their new destination and their contents emptied out.
On the phone is Daysi, talking with Emily. They are deciding what boxes should be moved into our new house first, so that our kids lack for nothing during our relocation. If you need a glimpse of what Daysi’s days lately look like, it is this: Busy.
We took a few minutes of her time to ask her some questions and re-introduce her work to you. Hope you enjoy.
What is your name?
Daysi Araceli Ramírez
Tell me your favorite thing to do in the world.
It is to spend time with my husband César and our dog Bruno (staying at home watching a movie, going out on dates, or traveling with them… it’s always so much fun!)
Tell me a fun fact about yourself.
I have such a big family! Seriously! I have 4 brothers and 1 sister, 4 sister-in-laws and 1 brother-in-law, 7 nieces, 3 nephews, both my parents, my husband and my dog. And my extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc.) consists of almost 200 people!
Do you have any funny Casita story?
A few months ago, we took a trip to Julita’s (a restaurant that’s a couple kilometers away from Copan and a place the kids really like because of the delicious food and the pools) and they gave us a huge box of bananas for free. We handed one to each child, but they would eat them so fast and then line up again for another. In the end, each kid ended up eating 4 or 5 bananas each. We had a good laugh watching them lie about how many they had eaten and how they kept asking for more. Fortunately, no one got sick from eating too many bananas!
What do you do at Casita and since when have you been doing it?
I am the Program Director since March 2022 and I was the on-site psychologist from 2013 to 2016.
What duties does your job consist of?
Making sure the programs run smoothly, they way they should. That means, verifying that the staff is doing their job, talking to the daycare and Casita moms on a regular basis, ensuring that the kids are well-treated and receiving everything they should. I see my job as basically an overview of the everyday Casita’s life!
What brought you to Copán?
After I graduated from college, I decided to move to Copan and start fresh. I moved here on September 7th, 2013 and one of the first places I went to was Casita Copán. I first met Emily and Casita on September 10th 2013, and it was such a crazy day because they were celebrating children’s day and their first anniversary! She told me to come back another day and that she was definitely interested in me volunteering. A couple weeks later, I was working part-time as the psychologist and later on I was hired full-time.
What lesson would you give to the Daysi that arrived at Casita, all those years ago?
To learn how to go with the flow (hahaha). I am a person that likes to-do-lists and likes to be in control of everything, and that is something that’s really hard at Casita (in a good way, definitely!), so I have definitely learned to be more flexible.
What does Casita mean to you?
It’s been a place for so much growth and learning, a wonderful opportunity to work doing something I love and with so much potential for change and growth!
What do you hope to achieve for our kids?
I want them to be healthy and functional adults, with professional careers of course, but not only that, but also with the necessary abilities to go through life, like problem solving and emotion control. But most of all, since it’s a subject I care so much about, I want them not to be victims (or perpetrators) of gender based violence, and I am currently working on developing a whole program dedicated to this: prevention and awareness on this subject.
Where will Casita be 10 years from now?
It will be so much bigger! We will have many more programs that will adapt to the different needs that exist in the community. I look forward to witness the exciting projects that I know the future will bring.