Katie’s Kaya Story
Katie Harris was born and raised in California, but now feels blessed to be serving the needs of Bolivian children at the Kaya Center in La Paz. She first learned about Kaya Children International in 2008 through Park Street Church in Boston where she had moved for employment. By 2012, Katie began feeling the need to make a change in her life. She knew that she wanted to work with Spanish speaking children in Latin America. The more she learned about Kaya, the more she knew it was a perfect fit. Before long, Katie had given notice at her job and had booked a flight to La Paz!
When Katie first arrived at Kaya, it was clear to her that each staff member truly loved the kids. She says, “This makes the Kaya Center a very special place. The kids receive food, clothing and academic support, but – more importantly – they also receive encouragement, love and acceptance. One of the things I value most about the Kaya Center is that it is a space where our kids can be typical kids—they play, laugh and even sometimes fight.”
Katie finds each day at the Kaya Center to be full of new activities. The kids’ excitement, she says, “is contagious.” Her typical daily schedule with the kids includes classroom time (for homework), a “family style” lunch, and playtime (soccer, tag, Uno, dolls and blocks are some favorites!) Special activities include field trips, music or dance lessons and birthday celebrations.
Though she finds the children’s stories to be “heartbreaking and at times overwhelming,” Katie Harris believes the Kaya Center is truly a place of hope and healing. We, at Kaya, feel very blessed to have Katie in our lives!