August 1, 2004: Headlines: COS - Paraguay: Child Custody: The Santa Fe New Mexican: RPCV Alexander Noce finds foster daughter in Paraguay

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Paraguay: Peace Corps Paraguay: The Peace Corps in Paraguay: August 1, 2004: Headlines: COS - Paraguay: Child Custody: The Santa Fe New Mexican: RPCV Alexander Noce finds foster daughter in Paraguay

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RPCV Alexander Noce finds foster daughter in Paraguay

RPCV Alexander Noce finds foster daughter in Paraguay

RPCV Alexander Noce finds foster daughter in Paraguay


Aug 1, 2004

The Santa Fe New Mexican

by Anne Constable, Photo By Steve Babuljak

Mariela Dur n says that writing her name -- and the name of her yellow-haired muneca, Sara -- is f cil and she already knows the English words cow and bathtub.

The animated 5-year-old, who has been in the United States for a week, plans to start kindergarten at Kaune Elementary School later this month where she hopes to make many companeritos.

Her stepfather, Alex Noce, is a bilingual teacher at Kaune and her mother, Carolina Noce, is a bilingual assistant in Nancy Martinez' kindergarten classroom where Mariela will be a student.

The child, who was born in Paraguay, was missing for four months before her mother found her in hiding with the child's maternal grandparents, Luis Antonio Dur n and Mara Angelica Dur n, in a village 45 minutes from Asuncin.

Carolina Noce lived in Paraguay with her parents from the age of 5 until she went to the United States last year, leaving her daughter in their care. The child has never met her biological father.

Carolina's parents encouraged her to allow the child to stay with them until she was settled in the United States. After Carolina married Alex, a former Peace Corps volunteer whom she had met in Paraguay, she returned to Asuncin to collect Mariela. But when she arrived at her parents' house in February, she found they had fled the capital.

The child was recovered after a four-month search, but when Carolina attempted to fly to the United States in June with her daughter, she was stopped at the airport.

Her family had persuaded a family court to issue an order prohibiting Mariela from leaving the country.

The Noces eventually got the order lifted and Carolina left Paraguay, stopping first in Buenos Aires and then in Montevideo, Uruguay, before flying to the United States. The family was reunited in Ontario, Calif., last week where Mariela met Alex Noce's 10-year- old daughter Arami for the first time.

The Noces went to the beach at Rosarito, Mexico, for a few days of relaxation before driving back to Santa Fe.

Carolina said she might have to return to Asuncin to testify in a case against her parents for abducting Mariela.

Although they told Mariela her mother was not coming back for her and tried to convince the child that Alex Noce would hit her and not feed her, Carolina said, "What they did was wrong, but, I don't hate them."

She said she would support Mariela in the future if the child wants to see her maternal grandparents.

Meanwhile, Mariela is studying English flash cards, looking forward to swimming lessons and learning to play the guitar.

Both Carolina and her daughter are permanent U.S. residents and will eventually become naturalized American citizens. Alex Noce, plans to adopt Mariela as soon as possible. The pair have already bonded, Carolina said as she watched them chatter in Spanish. "I'm jealous. I feel I'm being left out," she laughed.

When this story was prepared, this was the front page of PCOL magazine:

This Month's Issue: August 2004 This Month's Issue: August 2004
Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and who can come up with the funniest caption for our Current Events Funny?

Exclusive: Director Vasquez speaks out in an op-ed published exclusively on the web by Peace Corps Online saying the Dayton Daily News' portrayal of Peace Corps "doesn't jibe with facts."

In other news, the NPCA makes the case for improving governance and explains the challenges facing the organization, RPCV Bob Shaconis says Peace Corps has been a "sacred cow", RPCV Shaun McNally picks up support for his Aug 10 primary and has a plan to win in Connecticut, and the movie "Open Water" based on the negligent deaths of two RPCVs in Australia opens August 6. Op-ed's by RPCVs: Cops of the World is not a good goal and Peace Corps must emphasize community development.

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Story Source: The Santa Fe New Mexican

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Paraguay; Child Custody



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