Today, in celebration of World Poetry Day, we want to introduce to you Senna’s artistry, her soul, and her craft.

As described by writer Marie Arana, Senna has “a poet’s soul and a warrior’s core,” with an electric, rhythmic cadence when she speaks, and a resiliency that’s immediately palpable in her presence.

Senna’s favorite poet is Cesar Vallejo. Our favorite poet is Senna. She is one of the unforgettable girls of Girl Rising.

Here, the young writer recites a favorite Vallejo poem with an intensity and spirit that foretell success far beyond the makeshift walls of her family’s mining-shanty home. Watch for her shy smile at the end – and you’ll see a girl ready to rise:

Read her extraordinary poem, in English or Spanish, “Friend, Don’t Stay Behind,” here:


Friend, why are you like that, so sad. What’s wrong with you? Tell me. Friend, don’t be like that, don’t you know you can surmount any problem? Let’s talk.

I know that problem. I too passed through it, but look at me now, I’ve walked ahead, with all my might.

You do it, friend, I know you can Walk. You can. I did it too.

No, don’t thank me, friend. Help those who need as much as you have needed.

Helping, you will gather the courage, the strength to make another stronger.

Come, walk, we will do this together now, friend.

–Puno, February, 2013

In Spanish:


Amiga, porque estás así tan triste. Que te pasa? Cuentame. Amiga, no te pongas así, no sabes que tú puedes salir adelante de cualquier problema que tengas? Hablemos.

Amiga, ya se que estás pasando por ese problema, yo tambien pase por lo mismo, pero ahora me ves, he salido adelante poniendo todo mi esfuerzo.

Tú puedes, amiga, yo se que tú puedes salir. Vas a poder.

No, no me agradezcas, amiga. Ayuda a otras que lo necesitan como tú lo has necesitado.

Ayudalas, y tendrás la valentía, la fuerza de poder hacer mas fuertes a los demás. Ven, sal, lo haremos juntas ahora, amiga.

–Puno, febrero, 2013

Senna, 14, attended school at the insistence of her father, who died after years toiling in the gold mines in a gritty mountain village in the Peru’s Puno province. Senna excelled in school and developed a love for poetry. Today, she attends a secondary school supported by CARE, and continues to be inspired to write poetry. To learn more about CARE’s Education work, please visit this link.

Interested in reading more about Senna? Please visit this World Vision blog post featuring more of Senna’s words on World Poetry Day.