Best Buddies Month: Carlos & Jorge (Paraguay)
Interviewer: Guillermo Sapriza, Coordinator, Best Buddies Paraguay, Fundación Saraki
Tell us about your story with Best Buddies?
Carlos: I remember starting with Best Buddies Paraguay back in 2014, when I was looking for volunteer opportunities, and in my search I found Fundación Saraki, they have the Best Buddies Program. I didn’t know much about it in the beginning, but once enrolled I found how much I could grow as an individual with a person like Jorgito (his buddy); and thought, I really need to do this. So I had an interview with the team were they asked me about everything: my skills, my interests, what I like to do, my soccer team, etc. Then they informed me about the process and that in about a month I would have a buddy, I was super excited, I wanted to meet him. Later they told me “let’s go to Loma San Jerónimo so you can meet your buddy”. I went there, it was the first time I was in the neighborhood, then I saw Jorgito and will never forget how he jumped of happiness when he met me, like love at first sight (laughs).
Jorgito: Hey, I love you a lot but I like girls (laughs).
What is the meaning of Best Buddies to you?
Carlos: Friendship without frontiers.
What do you like the most about your buddy?
Carlos: He is an amazing person and I know I will always have his unconditional support, he worries about me, my family, wants everyone to be alright. For instance, when I had exams at the university, he would pray every day for me to pass all my subjects successfully.
Jorgito: I like hanging out with him, we do a lot together. When he was away on a trip, I cried a little for my friend, I would always ask my mom when he was coming back, I was worried for him, didn’t want him to need something.
Carlos: Yes, I went to another country on a cultural exchange trip, was out for 3 months. At that time Jorgito felt responsible for looking after my family while I was away, he is without a doubt a great friend. We also have a lot in common, we are both fans of club Olimpia (an emblematic soccer club of Paraguay), and we are still due to go watch a live game.
What do you like doing together?
Carlos: We like dancing, singing, checking out the ladies, go to the Costanera (boardwalk at the Paraguay River) to take short strolls, drink tereré (traditional beverage based of yerba mate). We have done a lot of stuff with Jorgito since we first met, we always get together and hang around every place we can in Asunción. Let’s not forget the food, every time we go out together for brunch he religiously orders a mixto with coffee and milk.
Jorgito: Saturdays are our hanging out day, we walk around Asunción, watch the ladies, and the mixto with coffee and milk, that’s my hobby (laughs).
Carlos: He has been to my home, shared time with my family, especially with my grandmother. We have done everything in this two years of friendship, a friendship which will last for a lifetime.
How has Best Buddies change your life?
Carlos: It’s a program that gives you another take on life, a different perspective, it changes you and you can feel it.
Carlos Sr. (father of Carlos): Since my son started volunteering, we noticed a change not only in him, but in all of our family. In time we were getting involved with Best Buddies and their cause. I will never forget when my son was out of the country for a few months, and Jorgito promised to care for us while Carlos was gone, he is a person with a lot to give. It is really a unique human experience, more than a pair of friends, we are a big family.
Why do you think more people should join Best Buddies?
Carlos: When I upload pictures on Instagram and social media, my friends always ask me “Who is that? What is Best Buddies? What do you do?” And I always encourage them to join, because I met incredible people in the process, we are breaking prejudice; and like I said before, it is an experience that changes your perspective, the way you see others. Besides, with Jorgito, we have a friendship which will last a lifetime.
Visit bestbuddies.org/celebrate to learn how you can join our #BestBuddiesMonth celebration throughout the month of March!