In Their Own Words: Parents

All of the following are statements from the parents. They are explaining why they love Mari’s Place and how it is helping them and their children to learn and grow in the short time that it has been up and running. Mari’s Place is run completely by volunteer work.

“My name is Amparo Parez. I’m from Guatemala. I have a child who is eight years old and her name is Suzy. My daughter loves to go to Mari’s Place because she can paint and draw with her friend, Ashley. My daughter is sick and she cannot be exposed to unclean environments. But at Mari’s Place, we don’t have to worry about this. It is clean and taken care of well. Mari’s Place is a place that I feel comfortable allowing my daughter to visit.”

“My name is Vladimir. I’m from Ukraine. I have a son who enjoys playing the keyboard. My son has hearing difficulties and has always struggled to learn. Despite his difficulties, he has always wanted to learn how to play keyboard. In schools, he never got this opportunity because he needed more one-on-one time. But at Mari’s Place, he can come and get lessons with four other boys and receive the attention that he requires so that he can fulfill this dream. I appreciate all that Mari’s Place does for my son.”

“My name is Fiona. I’m from South Africa. I have two boys who have a degenerative genetic disorder that impairs their vision. A doctor in a children’s hospital referred Mari’s Place to me, and I drive from South Seattle every Saturday so my two boys can take a painting class. Mari’s Place is a wonderful place for my sons and I will continue to take my boys there until we return to South Africa.”

“My name is Jordy Solono. I’m from Argentina. I have a four year old daughter named Sandra and she likes to dance. My daughter was born missing several of her toes, and as a result she has balance and coordination difficulties. I’m thankful for Mari’s Place because Sandra feels comfortable coming here and dancing as best as she can and learning how to dance better. She loves Mari’s Place so much; now she wants to take singing lessons as well.”

“My name is Galilea Wen. I’m from Korea. My son is ten years old and his name is Immanuel. We come to Mari’s Place so my son can take violin classes every Monday. My son stutters and takes a long time to say even small sentences. Mari’s Place is a place where he can do what he loves and receive the patience and teaching that is not available in other places. We are moving to Canada in December, but we are very thankful for all that Mari’s Place has done for us while we are here.”

“My name is Etum Hon-hu. I’m from China. I have a daughter and a niece who are both seven years old, and they love coming to Mari’s Place every Wednesday to dance. They want to do performance acting and singing next year. I’m a single father, and I’m taking care of my daughter. I work construction and I don’t have enough money to take my daughter out to movies or have much fun. I’m thankful for the opportunity to have Mari’s Place open so my daughter can have this experience for free. It’s wonderful.”

“My name is Alma. I’m from Mexico. I bring my daughter to Mari’s Place because she likes to come and learn how to play guitar. She can come and play guitar and talk with people and have fun. More than anything, it’s for the happiness in her eyes when she is playing guitar. We are very grateful for this place because financially we can’t afford for her to learn to play guitar anywhere else. We both love Mari’s Place and hope that we can continue to come. I like very much how the music helps my daughter. When she’s sad, she plays the guitar. It helps her a lot.”

“My name is Lupe Urrutia. I’m from Mexico. I bring my children here so they can learn things about life, and how to do many things including violin and guitar. These children will become the leaders of our community and they need culture. They love to come to Mari’s Place. I help at Mari’s Place because I like to help the kids. They need the opportunity to learn and enjoy culture. I know that Mary needs help, so I help out as often as I can. When I can, I bring Mary and other volunteers food so I can contribute to the community. I also do a lot of other chores to try and keep Mari’s Place up and running.”

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