Ariana’s story

Belize
March 2019

This picture reminds me of when I was living in my country and we had a dog. I was 8 when I got her. I played with her and she was my friend and we had her for one year, but then one day she climbed on my Dad’s bed and he didn’t like that and he beat her. Also, we were living in a big house where we were not supposed to have pets, and so we had to give her away.  We found this cat when we came to live here. My sister and I were playing outside when he came to us. He was in very bad condition, almost without hair. So, we started to feed him, and he stayed and we continued to take care of him and now almost all his hair has come back. We call him Copito. He is not allowed in the house too much. My dad used to only like dogs but now he is starting to like this cat too.  I do miss my country, I miss friends and family. Our home is not as big as in my country, but we have a big yard. I like it here because it is peaceful and we are allowed to have pets.

Our Cat by Ariana, age 11

We left my country a year ago. We had to because one day just when we were going to bed some men came by and started beating a man in front of our house and dragging the man towards the farm. My dad saw what was happening through the window and immediately told us to turn off the lights and TV, but one of the men signalled that he had seen my dad and immediately started threatening him, and the threats continued against him because they knew he had seen them.

And one day when I was leaving school a man told me that my mum had asked him to pick me up, but my mum and dad had always said ‘never go with anyone who tells you things like that’.  And we were right outside my school and the man was pulling my arm but I broke free and ran into the school and waited for my mum. And when she came, she told me she had never asked anyone to collect me. Then a cousin told us Belize is a really peaceful country so we decided to come here.