Ukrainian mother, child find safe haven in St. Charles Parish 

Myroslava and her son Maksym Burlak

A Ukrainian woman and her son have spent the past few months nearly 6,000 miles from home after leaving their country for the harsh winter months.

St. Rose residents Maks and Shalina Burlak and their two daughters have had two house guests since November – Myroslava and her son Maksym Burlak. Myroslava is Maks and Shalinas’ sister-in-law, and Maksym is their godson.

“They are staying with us in St. Charles Parish,” Maks said of Myroslava and Maks. “The main reason why they moved was the constant Russian attacks on the power infrastructure in Ukraine – because of that there were power outages and the absence of heat. Temperatures in Ukraine get below zero and that would have been hard for two-year-old Maksym to be in those conditions, so I invited them to stay in St. Rose with us for the winter.”

Maks said Myroslava and Maksym arrived in Louisiana on Nov. 17 and will more than stay here until the end of the spring. He has acted as Myroslava’s translator while she is here.

“I miss my family and my city the most … also good coffee,” Myroslava said of her time away from Ukraine. “Our adjustment period was not difficult thanks to Maks and the Ukrainian community in New Orleans.”

Myroslava said one of her favorite things about America is freedom in every aspect of life, which she said is similar to Ukraine.

“My most favorite things in St. Charles Parish are friendly neighbors, blooming magnolias, the bridge park, Mississippi River levee walks and the beautiful view from Hale Boggs Bridge,” she said.


About Monique Roth 919 Articles
Roth has both her undergraduate and graduate degree in journalism, which she has utilized in the past as an instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University and a reporter at various newspapers and online publications. She grew up in LaPlace, where she currently resides with her husband and three daughters.

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