María Cecilia Perrín was born in Punta Alta on February 22, 1957, the daughter of Angelita and Manolo Perrín. She was the third of five children: María Inés and Jorge, the oldest ones, and Eduardo and Teresa, the youngest ones. Cecilia grew up in a family with deep Catholic Christian roots.

 

Susana says: “I met Cecilia when I was 4 years old at the parish kindergarten (presently, Instituto Estrada). When I think about her, the first picture that comes to mind is Cecilia smiling while giving away her candies. She would do this until there were no candies left, not even for her. This attitude was so strange for me that I used to ask my mom to buy candies for me to give to Cecilia. After a while I had to move to another kindergarten and stopped seeing her. One day, when I was in first grade, I was returning to my desk when I felt someone pulling at my smock; I turned around and saw Cecilia wearing a big smile and asking me: ‘Do you remember me?’ It was great meeting my first friend again.” (passage from the book Tus caminos son una locura. By Licy Miranda, Ciudad Nueva publishing house)

In her neighborhood, there was an old blind man who used to be seated outside his house. Every time Cecilia passed by, she greeted him and spent some time talking to him. She was very affectionate and conquered the old man’s heart, so much so, that he used to ask to be seated outdoors right in time to meet Cecilia when she was coming back from school.

“When we were quite young, we used to drive around our city, Punta Alta, with Mom and Dad; we would sit, Tere, Ceci in the middle, and I, in the back. On these car rides our parents used to give us a bag of popcorn each. Ceci, that lively skinny girl, used to grab her bag and eat it up quickly. She would then stretch out backwards and say, ‘I am dying, I am dying, you guys need to revive me!’ And we would feed her with our popcorn… to lift her up…. She ended up eating all our popcorn too! We were happy though; we did it as a service to her since she used to serve us every day; and so for us it was a pleasure to do that.” (Testimonial of Eduardo, Cecilia’s youngest brother)

When Cecilia was 12, she lost her maternal grandmother. During the funeral, Cecilia stood by her mother and told her, ““Don’t cry, Mom; Granny is alive. She used to live with us but now she lives in Heaven.”