Career earnings: € 4,684.73
Diana in February 2017:
2016 was a year full of challenges, success, and difficulties but in the end, it all ended and I hope 2017 will be better. One of the lows in the past year was that I wasn’t able to continue with the third semester of university because my money ran out. My education fund ran out of money and I felt very frustrated. I tried to find another solution which was to get a loan from a church fund. I had to fulfill a lot of requirements, but in the end, I had a problem in the admission process of the university and I wasn’t able to study.
During that time I looked for a job together with my grandma. We found something close by as cleaner in a police station. I learned how to perform my tasks from my grandmother and was able to get used to working in the place. Unfortunately one of the police officers assaulted me (indecent acts) and I quiet working there. Now I am in therapy from a psychologist working for a women centre who is also help me to press charges against the police officer.
Both of these incidents were very difficult for me and I almost gave up. But my faith in God and the help from my friends, family and FairMail gave me the strength to continue.
With help from my mother I was able to get a job as dental assistant. In the beginning it was difficult to learn how to deal with the patients and the instruments used. But I was happy and self-sufficient. I can now help my mother with some of the household costs so she doesn’t feel like she is all alone anymore.
Another good thing that happened to me where the photography trips with FairMail. The most special one was the one to Chachapoyas. I got to know very special people and I am thinking of returning someday. I love the nature, the rain, the tranquillity and to be disconnected from the rest of the world.
For 2017 my goal is to prepare myself for the entrance exam to the National University. I want to study communication sciences. I also want to improve my health as I have stomach problems (chronic gastritis), and to develop new eating habits which isn’t easy. I also want to get medical treatment. I hope to achieve my goals with my effort and dedication. And I hope that the people who'll read this won't give up fighting for their dreams and goals.
Diana in January 2016:
My name is Diana Cristina Suarez Acevedo. I am 17 years old and live in El Milagro with my mother, 2 of my 3 brothers and sisters and the grandmother of one of my cousins. Last year I managed to finish high school. Thanks to the income from the sale of my photographs I am now studying communication sciences at the Cesar Vallejo university. I am finishing the second semester right now.
I like my studies as the courses they teach you are very broad. I want to specialize in photojournalism. Being in university is not easy, but it is also fun as you learn many new things from your teachers. And you get to meet many new people with different talents. When you combine forces you can do good teamwork.
Right now my mother is working for Conazul, a company working for the municipal water services (Sedalib). Before that she used to work at a gas filling station, but she had to quit due to health issues. Next year she will undergo eye surgery. I am saving money for that in my FairMail medical fund.
My smaller brother and sister are still in school. But one of my sisters lives with her father and goes to school somewhere else. It was very tough to live without her, but we can visit her and that way spend some time together.
This year, I was able to travel to Piura, Huaraz and Lima for a photography project. Traveling with FairMail is amazing! You always learn new things, also about your colleagues. And we have foreign volunteers who join us. They don’t only pay for our travel expenses, but also give us tips and advice and share their lives with us. I hope we can get more tourists to travel with us. Thanks to the trips we have many great cards, which through their sale help us get ahead in life.
Now I have new goals. One is to finish university. Then I want to get a job and be able to help my mother pay for the costs of our household. I also want to get more FairMail cards and go on other FairMail trips. As a person, I want to be more responsible and organized.
Diana in January 2015:
Hi, my name is Diana Cristina Suarez Acevedo. I am 17 years old and I live in El Milagro with my mother, my brother and temporarily also with my sister and another woman. I am studying photography at a Company called FairMail. In my free time, I like taking pictures of the sky and the sunset.
2014 has been a year of achievements for me, but also with some bad experiences. One of these was and still is that I have problems within my family which mean it is impossible for my sisters (Claudia and Paula) to live with me and my mother. This is a very difficult situation for me and even more for my mother who is now fighting to get custody over my sisters back.
But not everything was bad as I also achieved a few of my goals. One was getting my first FairMail postcard and 4 of my picture were chosen by an important bank for their year report. Also, 2 of my pictures were selected for two different calendars. All of them paid good money for my pictures. This helps me to pay for my education as I finished high school and I will start university soon.
As I said before, there is a woman living in our house. I love that she lives with us as she has turned into another family member. Even though she is in a wheelchair, she is a big help to us.
A short time ago, I had a car accident in the bus I was driving in. Thank god I was not injured like the other passengers. This gave me even more will to live.
For now my goals are to study communication sciences at the UCV University as they offered me a scholarship that gives me a discount on my school fees. This way I hope to help my family get ahead in life.
Diana in August 2014:
In January I went on a trip to Cajamarca with FairMail but I could only stay for 2 days because I had a retreat with my church at the same time. For me, that was a great spiritual experience. This year my mother began a court case to try to get my brother and sister home. They live with my father now. What also happened this year is that I had an accident with my camera. The camera got burned because of my own fault as I left candles lit in my room when I went to the kitchen.
Recently my aunt moved into my home and also a disabled lady who my mom cares for lives with us now. I still can’t get used to them but I think I will be able to get used to it later on.
I am teaching a child after school which gives me a small income, so I am learning to be self-sufficient.
I got my first postcard which is a great achievement for me and helps me to keep going.
In the next 6 months I will finish high school and I hope to improve my grades. My other goals are working hard to get my second postcard and bringing my sister and brother home.
Diana in July 2013:
My name is Diana Cristina Suarez Acevedo and I am 15 years old. I live in the El Milagro area. I have 2 sisters and 1 brother. I live with my mother and I am in fourth grade this year.
I go to school at “Julio Gutiérrez Solari” and I studied English in the language centre of the “Universidad Nacional de Trujillo” for 10 months. My mother works in a gas station and I work renting out skirts in front of the El Milagro prison for the women visiting the inmates. My hobby is reading, listening to music, chatting with friends and family and I love to read and recite poetry. I also followed a 2 month photography course in the Asociación Cristiana de Jóvenes del Perú (ACJ). At ACJ I learned many things like reciting poetry, photography, and many more things.
I go to the Mormon church. One of my goals is to serve my church full-time for 2 years. Apart from that I want to study tourism and work to help my family get ahead in life. I got to know FairMail thanks to Mrs. Pilar from ACJ. She told me that I was one the selected teenagers to participate in FairMail. I am very happy about this. My goal is to take many photos , learn a lot and be part of this family.