My name is Gonzalo Camacho, Graduate from the 3rd Course of the McGuire Programme in Lima, Perú on May the 18th, 2016. I'm 24 years old and I'm from Chiclayo – Perú.
I'll start by talking about my stutter. It started when I was 8 years old, maybe it was due to strong family conflicts. My stutter is covert. For many years I've felt limited to a lot of things, part of the negative experiences that I've acquired through the years in my school and family environment. I've always felt ashamed of people knowing about my stutter and I tried to hide it as best as I could; I barely talked to keep me from stuttering, I never said exactly what I thought or felt due to the fear of saying hard to pronounce words, I used synonyms and fillers.
These past 5 years of my life have been very hard. Although I stopped studying a lot of things, when I was in a classroom I felt stage fright. I ran away from classrooms and situations where I needed to speak. I felt nervous, shivered too much, I isolated myself more and more from people, from my surroundings. I didn't want to leave home, I felt extremely anxious and frustrated. My parents didn't understand me. I couldn't find the solution to my problem, I thought that it was all pure anxiety and that I'll always be like this.
My registration process to the programme was a huge unexpected surprise in my life. I never thought I could take the course that I discovered a month ago thanks to YouTube and to Jorge Garza's interviews, but mainly thanks to God; I've asked Him for a change in my life, a way to grow as a person in society. I always tried to help myself looking for help on Internet with the hope that one day I'd find something that actually helps me. The surprise was that later, after knowing about the existence of the programme; precisely that day, I saw that they uploaded a video of the programme in Lima and it was like a revelation. It amazed me, I felt very hopeful. Then I saw on the Facebook page that someone gave talks in his university; PUCP in Lima, creating awareness about stuttering and his attitude and courage surprised me a lot, that person is Bruno Villegas. I added him on Facebook and talked to me about the programme, about how it changed his life. I told him all my experience with my stutter. We always kept in touch, we became really good friends from the beginning. I didn't loose hope that some day there will be a change in my life.
It surprised me that a month later, one night when I came back home after feeling terrible and asking myself why I am like this, I wanted to end my cyclical and mortal rutine; exactly that day when I arrived home, I got a message from Bruno telling me that many graduates were supporting people with low economic resources and wanted to help me pay for the course. I thought I was dreaming when I read his message, I felt an unexpected hope. I had to travel the next day to be able to attend the course in Lima and I didn't count with the support from my parents; my dad left home and my mom's salary is not high. It was all like a dream, it was from one day to the other.
The programme helped me to accept myself. The thing that made me feel ashamed, became a strength in my life. Be the person I truly want to be and be able to take control of my life to overcome my stutter. The stage fright vanished as I became honest with myself.
Infinite thanks to all the members that granted me the great economic support to be able to participate in the programme, I'll always be eternally grateful because thanks to the programme I can accept myself and I'm able to tell it to a lot of people. I overcame my biggest fear, public speaking; when I arrived to my city I accomplished the challenge of creating awareness about stuttering in a classroom of 50 psychology students. It is now time to be disciplined to reach eloquence. Thank you so much to everyone.