Dora has six brothers and Sisters. Born in Jutiapa, Guatemala in 1988, she had a very difficult early life. Her single mother sold bread by the roadside to raise money to feed her young family but it was never enough. They were always hungry. They lived in cramped accommodation, sharing the bed to sleep at night with no access to healthcare or education.
In late 2002, the Sisters met Dora during their community work in her area. They were troubled by her malnourished and deprived state and in 2003 they bought her into their care in the Villa de las Niñas Girlstown school in Zona 13, Guatemala City. Dora was homesick at first and despite the circumstances of her life she missed her mum. However with the love and care of the sisters and the teachers and new friends around her she quickly settled and excelled at school. She made the most of every opportunity, determined to learn enough to find a good job and help her brothers and sisters.
She studied hard and left school just after her 16th birthday. She had no job for two months but with her new knowledge she eventually managed to get a job in finance. Whilst working she studied part time for a degree in international finance and accounting and then studied for a conversion course to become a teacher.
She is passionate about the power of education and with her new qualifications she was determined to support girls in a similar position to herself so she applied to the Sisters of Mary school in Guatemala to join them as a teacher. She now teaches English to first year (age 12) and fourth year (age 16) girls at the school. She is desperate to share her knowledge with the girls – to let them know how important it is to study and prepare. She keeps an old photo of herself to remind her of the difference education and hard work made to her life.
She is now married to a teacher and has two children of her own aged 10 and 3. Her main goal is to help her family and brothers in their studies and she says “they all live a better life because of the work of SoM and WVC.”
“It is such great joy to know about you dear donors. I don’t want to miss the chance to thank you for all you have done for me and you keep doing for every girl in need. I always keep in my mind and heart that your love and the love of the Sisters of Mary is a perfect combination”