"Do not desire the talent of others, strive to achieve your own.”
Deaf or hard of hearing
"My dream is to be able to finish a technical or professional career and to be in a better place in life. I want to make my parents proud and, in the future, for a successful job to help support my family as well"
I am Cristhian Fernando Herrera Irigoin, I am 17 years old. I have the following disabilities: congenital absence of the left ear, congenital malformation, and deaf in the left ear. I was born in the department of Cajamarca - Chota province - Conchan District. My parents' names are Emilio Herrera and Doris Irigoyen; they now live in the country. They could not finish high school, so my father dedicated himself to agriculture, and my mother takes care of children and washes clothes in her extra time. I also have a brother who is 9 years old. Ever since I was 5 or 6 years old, my dad left and lived far away, because there was no work where we lived. He worked long distance for 5 years, during that time, my mom looked for a job to support the household expenses. We suffered a lot without him and missed him so much. After a long time passed, we received a call and were told that my dad was in poor health. He had appendicitis, and they had to operate on him as soon as possible. We thought we would never see him again, but thankfully, his surgery went well. My father was unable to work for two years, my mother and I had to do his job, working in the fields. Every time I saw my mother working, I wished I was old enough to do all the work for her.
My grades were always good; all 6 years of primary school, I was awarded diplomas for being the best in my classes. I always liked to draw, and my favorite sport was soccer; I played on my school team. When I was 11 years old, I went to secondary school, where my classes were complicated because they required supplies that my parents could not afford. Thankfully, it turned out I was always outstanding in my studies and wasn't a big issue for me; I liked reading books and practicing math exercises. In my spare time, I used to play soccer. I also managed to play for my high school team. Since childhood my dream was to be a great soccer player, so when I was 14 years old, I trained until I was 16 years old. I received the support of my physical education teacher and was trying to take me to a city where there was a soccer club that was looking for talented teenagers, and they signed me up. The next day they organized a soccer game where they chose two best players and I was chosen. I was very happy with what I had accomplished that day. It was the best day of my life. So when everything seemed to be going well, the next day the club coach wanted to speak to us and told us that I could not be part of their squad and I could not play with them because they were afraid that something would happen due to my illness. They do not assume the responsibilities of adolescents with disabilities, so they rejected me. At that moment, I started crying a lot. I didn't want to go to school, was very depressed, and felt that I could never achieve my dreams. Thanks to my parents' advice, I recovered from the bad emotional state I was in. I focus more on my studies, I reached the fifth grade of high school.