One day, I saw someone in a purple shirt again. I didn’t know who he was but I remembered the name on the shirt: Create Purpose! 
— URIEL, 9


Hi! My name is Uriel. I’m 9 years old and live at an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico. 

Many years ago, when I was tiny, my older brother, younger sister, and I went to live in the first orphanage we lived in Tijuana. My caregivers had a hard time taking care of me then since I was still adapting to living with other kids like me and… got in trouble ALL the time.

 One day, someone with a purple shirt came to the house and said we would have a garden. I loved the idea because they said even I could go! ‘I’m a big boy!” I told them, and they let me participate. Can you believe it?!

When I joined the garden classes, I was a bit shy because I didn’t know the people in the purple shirts. But still, I was very excited to be with the older kids. Also, I wanted to see the worms and play with the dirt!

It was so much FUN, but our dogs, Pancho and Nana, were messing everything up! They didn’t mean to, but a few times, they destroyed everything! It’s a lot of work growing tomatoes, you know? So, I helped build a fence around the garden. We painted it a bright purple so everyone knew this was our special place. 

Then, two years ago, my brother and I were moved to another orphanage. My sister had to stay because this new orphanage was only for boys. It also had a garden, but we were not allowed to go. It was only for the adults who worked it. On the bright side, there was a big patio, but I missed going to the garden.

Thanks to them, we now have a garden where I can go. We grow marigold flowers in the autumn, spinach, radishes, tomatoes, peppers, and sweet peas! Then, in the winter, we’ll have other plants. I’m very excited because Leo, my teacher, said we would have our own Red Worms for the garden! I can’t wait to go to the garden class every Tuesday and Saturday. I’m the fastest, so I’m always the first one there. I ask many questions and always help around because I love love love plants.

If we could, I would like to have more animals in the garden, like butterflies, birds, lizards, and beetles, so they can help plants grow. I also want the garden to have more fruits and veggies so I can come and get them whenever I’m hungry.

When I’m older, I want to have many, many dogs. I want to have a room for myself, be a soccer player, and have many friends.


Tijuana – San Diego Border