From the corner of their small home, Blanca watched her father struggle.
It was this image of her father, barely literate, with just a third-grade education, that kept Blanca going. It was what she thought of when she overheard neighbors tell her parents that educating a daughter was pointless.
She remembered it when she watched her peers drop out of school to get jobs that enabled them to bring home milk and bread for their families.
Most of all, she remembered it every Sunday when her father stood before their church and preached from those verses he had labored over and memorized. His hard work and dedication inspired her to forge a path different from her friends’ lives.
In the small Guatemalan community where Blanca grew up, few girls were educated past elementary school.
“We did not have much at home,” remembers Blanca, “but my parents made sure I got an education. It was something that did not happen much. Since I was a girl, the popular belief was that instead of investing in my education, I should learn to cook and clean because the only thing I could aspire to was to be housewife, and all my schooling would have been in vain.”
But Enrique wanted more for his seven daughters, including Blanca, who was the oldest. He and his wife had decided to make education a priority in their family, one of the reasons they had enrolled Blanca in a Compassion center near their home.