Thoughts on Learning and Leadership

Congratulations to our Seattle Institute Team of 2019-2020!

Fany, Liamar, Moy, Rafa and Ricky are now officially young graduates of the Seattle Institute program. They each completed a courageous, 10-month journey full of self-discovery, eye-opening moments, learning and growth. I am personally motivated and inspired by each of them, and excited to cheer them on as they return to their countries and put into practice all that they learned here in Seattle. Below are a few of their own thoughts on their personal leadership and takeaways during their time in Seattle.



Liamar IMG_2017

During my time in Seattle, I have had wonderful experiences, and I have learned a lot about leadership, about myself, and about serving others. I think that everyone is a leader in their own lives. Here, I realized that I am a democratic, strategic, servant, and empowering leader because I am attentive to the needs of others, I try to find creative ways of solving a problem, I prefer to act instead of talk, and I share my knowledge with others and apply it to my life. I also learned more about my strengths, how can apply them to my life as a leader, and that I should focus on my strengths and not on my weaknesses.




I learned that when you help others to be better people, you feel a sense of peace. When I return to the D.R., I will give educational talks about leadership to children in the NPH home, because my greatest wish is that all the children of NPH Dominican Republic learn and know more about how they can be the best versions of themselves. This is important for me, because at a very young age I became involved in leadership activities, and that changed my life in an incredible way. I want to share my knowledge with the children and young people of NPH DR.


Fany IMG_2025

Over this past year, I learned about leadership and about myself, and how to be an NPH ambassador. I learned more about my strengths. I’m creative, empathetic, caring, strong, and entrepreneurial. When I return to my country, I will use these strengths and my new knowledge to support in an area where NPH Honduras needs me, because serving others is important to me. I will continue in university and preparing to be a professional, so that I can give back to NPH.


Moy IMG_1182

I learned that being a good leader means listening well and practicing empathy. It can mean following as well, and include failure – but failing is a part of learning and growing. I learned that the foundation of my leadership is knowing myself, understanding my emotions and feelings. I worked hard on that this past year.

I had many dreams as a child in NPH, now I can say one of those became a reality. The NPH Seattle Institute, Seattle Central College, donors, MAPFRE, my homestay, friends, and all the NPH staff has been a part of this. We are finishing the program and we are leaving in a few days to continue our dreams and be part of the change in our societies and in the NPH family.  


Rafa img_1179.jpg

Over the past 10 months, I have learned that I am a humble and servant leader. Some of my areas of strength are being a visionary, entrepreneurial, perseverant, responsible and resilient. I believe that our strengths should be used to serve others, and that is exactly how I intend to use mine. I want to leave my mark by serving others in need. To me, leadership means using strength to benefit others and help others achieve their goals and work together toward a common purpose. I think a good leader is a person who is always available to help his neighbor in the most difficult of situations.



My Experience in Canada!

Written by Rafa Llamoga Raico, translated by Erin Egge. Original Spanish below.

From the first moment that I arrived to the USA, many extraordinary things have happened. In the Miami airport, I saw a past volunteer that just so happened to be traveling to Seattle on the same plane as me. It was like God’s plan to make this new experience a marvelous adventure.

A few weeks after I had been in Seattle, Traci contacted me, a friend from Canada who travels to Peru each year. She belongs to Georgian Shores United Church, a church in Ontario, Canada, that sponsors me. She wanted to see if I could visit Ontario to get to know the other parishioners and share my story.

20181206_160426 (1).jpgThe trip to Canada was tiring and cold, but it is one of the most extraordinary experiences that I have ever had. Traci had an action-packed agenda that week so that I could experience many things for the first time: see snow, build my first snowman, we went to a Spanish class, a farm (everything was automatic), I finally went ICE SKATING (the skill of hockey players surprises me, because it is difficult even to just walk on ice!). Words can’t express the joy of doing things for the first time.

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One day we got together with a group of Canadians that had traveled to Peru each year, and something that they said has remained in my mind since then: “We are very happy because we had the luck of watching the growth and development of the home from zero, and had the opportunity to be part of this great work. Every year that we visited, there was something new, and it made us happy seeing that the kids were living in a wonderful home.” This is actually the first memory that I have of my friends from Canada, when they helped us build the second NPH Peru home!

20181209_110643 (1)That Sunday at mass I shared my story with the parish, and it was wonderful because I also had the opportunity to thank everyone for all that they have done for us, and tell them that NPH has given us the opportunity to change our stories. The NPH family teaches us that no matter our past, we are important to society. NPH gives me the opportunity to be what I had never imagined I could be. The best gift from NPH is the opportunity to be children: to feel wanted and loved, sure of ourselves and to be able to enjoy childhood.

NPH gives us the tools that we need to overcome challenges and adversities in our lives, and there is nothing more satisfying than seeing the results of what you have fought for.

I want to thank all of the people who are involved with NPH, a marvelous community of people that dedicate themselves to bringing opportunities to children in need, helping them to become happy and productive citizens.

Thank you for all of the support and love that you show us!

Thank you for being lights of hope!

Thank you Traci and family, and Georgian Shores United Church, for the opportunity to spend time in your country and your home!

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Original Spanish below by Rafa Llamoga Raico.

¡Mi experiencia en Canadá!

Desde el primer momento en que llegue a USA, han ocurrido cosas extraordinarias, en el aeropuerto de Miami me encontré con un ex voluntario que viajaba a Seattle y en el mismo avión que yo, fue con un designio de Dios para hacer esta nueva experiencia en una aventura maravillosa.

Unas semas que estuve en Seattle me contacto Traci, ella a viaja a Perú con el grupo de canadienses cada año, ella pertenece a una iglesia en Canadá, Georgian Shores United Church, y ellos son mis padrinos. El viaje a Canadá fue cansado y con mucho frio, pero es una de las experiencias más extraordinaria que he realizado, Traci tenía la agenda muy ocupada en la semana en la que yo estaría en Canadá, pude conocer muchas cosas por primera vez: ver Nieve y tener la oportunidad de hacer mi primer muñeco de nieve, fuimos a una tienda donde había muchos animales disecados, fuimos a una clase de español, también fuimos a una granja (allí todo es automático), pude ir al ICE SKATING, me sorprende la destreza de los jugadores de hockey, porque tan solo poder caminar es muy difícil.

Un día nos reunimos con un grupo de canadienses que han viajado a Perú cada año, Se me quedo algo grabado en mi mente cuando ellos mencionaron: “estamos muy felices porque tuvimos la suerte de ver el crecientito y desarrollo de la casa desde cero y tener la oportunidad de ser parte de esta gran obra, cada año que viajábamos había algo nuevo, eso nos ponía muy felices ya que veíamos a los niños están en un mejor lugar para vivir”.

El domingo en la misa fue cuando tuve la oportunidad de contar mi historia, fue algo maravilloso ya que tenía la oportunidad de agradecerles a todas las personas por todas las cosa que han realizado por nosotros y que NPH nos da la oportunidad de cambiar nuestra historia. Es la familia de NPH la que nos enseña que, independientemente de nuestro pasado, nosotros somos importante para la sociedad. NPH me da la oportunidad de ser más de lo que nunca habíamos imaginado. El mejor regalo de NPH es darnos la oportunidad de ser niños: sentirse querido y amado, seguro de sí mismo y poder disfrutar de la infancia. NPH nos da las herramientas que necesitamos para superar los desafíos y las adversidades de nuestras vidas. No hay nada más satisfactorio ver los resultados por aquello que has luchado.

Agradezco a todas las personas que están involucradas con NPH, una comunidad maravillosa de personas que se dedican a brindar oportunidades a los niños necesitados, ayudarlos a convertirse en ciudadanos felices y productivos.

¡Gracias por todo el apoyo y el amor que nos muestran!

¡Gracias por esa luz de esperanza¡

¡Gracias a Traci y familia, y Georgian Shores United Church, por la oportunidad de estar en su país y en su casa!



Happy New Year!


Liamar is from NPH Nicaragua and has been a participant of the NPHI Seattle Institute Leadership program since September 2018. She shares her reflection on the past year with us! Her reflection was translated to English and her original Spanish is below.

“I am infinitely grateful to God for 2018, a year that has been full of blessings and incredible experiences.

I am very happy that I have learned so much this past year. Every goal that I have achieved has been a life experience, and the goals that I haven’t yet fully accomplished help me put more effort and desire to achieve them in the year ahead.


In the Seattle Institute program I have learned a lot about myself, and how to put my abilities as a leader into practice. It has made a major impact on me. Every one of the people who support our NPH Family has taught me more about serving others, especially our Homestays, who support us unconditionally and make us feel like part of their families.

I am excited to begin the new year that will be full of challenges, new experiences and learnings.

I bid farewell to 2018 with immense satisfaction in my heart, for all of the blessings and experiences, and welcome 2019 with enthusiasm, faith and courage.

Happy New Year!



In Liamar’s original Spanish. 

Doy infinitamente gracias a Dios por el año (2018) que estuvo lleno de bendiciones y grandiosas experiencias.

Me siento muy feliz por haber aprendido tanto en este año que culminó. Cada reto logrado ha sido una experiencia de vida, y los objetivos que no pude cumplir me ayudan para poner más esfuerzo y ganas para lograrlo en este año que comienza.

En el programa Seattle Institute he aprendido mucho sobre mí y cómo poner en práctica mis habilidades como líder. Me ha impactado mucho y he aprendido sobre el servicio a los demás a través de cada una de las personas que apoya a nuestra familia de NPH. En especial nuestros Homestays, quienes nos apoyan incondicionalmente y nos hacen sentir parte de sus familias.

Estoy ansiosa por comenzar un nuevo año lleno de retos, nuevas experiencias y conocimientos.

Me despido del 2018 con una inmensa satisfacción en mi corazón por tantas bendiciones recibidas y experiencias vividas, y recibido al 2019 con entusiasmo, fe y coraje.

¡¡Feliz Año Nuevo!!




Written by Ricardo, from NPH Dominican Republic 


I am very grateful to NPH for giving me the opportunity to be part of this leadership program in Seattle. I have met many people who are supporting me every day with my emotional and spiritual development. Over the past two months, I have greatly improved my English skills, and I am thankful for all of the people who have been at my side making this possible.

At the beginning, nothing is easy. But since I arrived to the U.S., there have been marvelous people who have accompanied me and helped make things easier. Everything good takes time and dedication. If I give it my all at the beginning, the future will bear fruit!

There are thousands of ways to fit in when you are new, and one that works for me quite well is smiling. When I smile everything seems clearer! and things seem to go much better.

Life is also better with good friends that stick by you for life. When you have long-lasting friendships, you could go years not seeing them, and when you do see them you pick up right where you left off, as if nothing ever changed. I am grateful for that as well!

En español 

Estoy muy agradecido con NPH por haberme concedido la oportunidad de ser parte de este programa de liderazgo en Seattle. He conocido muchas personas que me están ayudando cada día con mi desempeño emocional y espiritual. A lo largo de estos dos meses he mejorado bastante en mi aprendizaje de inglés, y agradezco mucho a todos aquellos que de una otro manera me ha ayudado.

Al principio nada es fácil, pero hay tantas personas maravillosas que me han acompañado para que sea mas fácil. Como todo lo bueno toma tiempo y dedicación para que de frutos en el futuro desde ahora pongo el máximo en todo.

Hay miles de formas de encajar en un lugar cuando eres nuevo y una que me funciona mucho es sonreír, cuando sonrío todo se ve mas claro te va mejor en la vida y mejor aún haces muy buenas amigos que te duran para toda la vida. Cuando tienes amigos así, luego que pasas años sin saber nadas de ellos, cuando lo vez nuevamente es como si nunca se dejaron de ver. Estoy muy agradecido por ellos también.


Welcome Class of 2018-2019!

The students have arrived! On September 5th, five young adults from the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Peru stepped outside their comfort zone and onto a plane that would take them to Seattle and into a new chapter of their lives.

They are thrilled to be here and to be part of the NPH USA community that has been awaiting them with open arms.

Join me in welcoming the Seattle Institute Class of 2019!




I am in my second year of university studying nursing. My experience in youth development is extensive; I began in the ‘Jóvenes en Acción’ group in Honduras, and then I went to four NPH International youth development workshops. Each one of these experiences was unforgettable; I learned to be a better person and example to the younger Pequeños. To me, strong leadership means to lead with humility, faith and with a sense of service. I want to be in the program to really know myself, learn English, leadership, service and to spend time with people from another culture and other countries. I am excited to see myself grow, learn and develop in ways that I never thought I would. 





I am in my fourth year of university studying public accounting and finance, and will finish my studies upon returning to Nicaragua. Over two years I supported my NPH Nicaragua family taking care of my younger sisters. This year, I hope to grow personally as a leader to better serve my NPH family or our community in a positive way, and to make an impact on the lives of other people. I am excited to meet different people, get to know their culture, learn from their life experience, as well as learn English and how I can support NPH upon my return.




moy2_1I am in my fourth year studying clinical psychology at university. I have participated in three NPH International youth development workshops; from them I have learned to be a better person to my family, friends and in my work. Before arriving in Seattle, I worked with children with disabilities in the NPH Guatemala home. They learned a lot from me, and me from them. Now in the program I want to know myself better, learn more about leadership and learn English. All of this will help me in my future to be able to help my NPH family, my biological family, and the society that I live in.





I graduated this year from university and have my degree in Administration and International Business. One work experience that I have greatly enjoyed was taking care of the boys in the NPH Peru home because I had the opportunity to listen to them, help them through difficulties, and be a guide so that they could become good people in the future. I want to be in this program to develop my leadership abilities and to serve my community, and I am excited to learn and grow as a person and leader this year.



Dominican Republic


I am in my third year of university studying medicine. One day I would like to be a doctor in the Dominican Republic. I already have professional work experience as a professor of information technology for one year, and I also worked as the coordinator of an online program that received donations for the NPH home to cover the needs of the children. To me, leadership is finding a way to serve others and positively influence their lives. I am excited to be in the Seattle program to learn more about leadership and to improve my English.



The Seattle students with their Homestays, together with staff members of NPHI and NPH USA