Our staff has always felt very rewarded when a scholarship student calls to say hi or to give us an update about their current situation, but when a graduate student calls and tells us that they would like to support CasaSito, our happiness is on another level. It is the proof that our program works, and our students are able to break the poverty circle and live a better life.
With friends like you, our program has provided education for impoverished students AND raised their social awareness so they become change agents in their communities. Please make a gift today to support us in achieving more successful stories like Leticia’s.
The successful story of Leticia did not come easy, it is the result of hardship and determination.
Leticia comes from Santiago Zamora, a small indigenous village outside Antigua. With four siblings, her parents were unfortunately not able to offer any of them education past primary school. Today in Guatemala, 88% of enrolled students graduate from primary school. When Leticia graduated from primary school, her sisters were already married, and one of her sisters said that she would help her pay for her first year of middle school. Having a strong passion for education and finding herself without any economic means to pay for her schooling, she started working as a maid in a household in Antigua. At 14 years old, each day, she worked from 7am to 12pm, earning $90 a month, then quickly returning to her town where she would go to school in the afternoons. At the time, there was no transport between the two destinations, and she would have to walk to the next town to catch the bus at 6am, the only bus in the morning heading to Antigua. She did this for 8 months while she completed her second year of middle school. In her third year, she started working as a cleaning lady in the local school where she met Teacher Chris, an expat teaching in Santiago Zamora, who started a scholarship program and helped her with her schools fees. When she graduated from middle school in 2007, it was Teacher Chris who introduced her to the CasaSito scholarship program
For her, being part of CasaSito meant she had to excel at school, participate in the workshops and different club activities at the time. She was always proud to be a scholarship student and believes that she wouldn’t have been able to graduate as easily from high school without the help that CasSito gave her. She felt that CasaSito was A FAMILY THAT SUPPORTED HER and motivated her to reach her full potential and to pursue her dreams.
Leticia has always been an independent girl. Working at a young age she paid her way through middle school and high school with the help from Teacher Chris and CasaSito. She was never dependent of her parents and started working contributing to the family income and her personal necessities.
Today Leticia is 27 years old, and she is the only one in her family to finish high school much less university. Her parents studied up until 3rd grade of primary school, and just one of her sisters made it to middle school. She says it’s common in her town for women to study up until primary school, get married as teenagers and become cleaning ladies.
‘I’ve never been afraid of working. I feel that when someone puts more effort from their part, you value more the things that you get’
After she graduated from high school she began her university degree and began working at a Guatemalan handicraft store. Today she owns that store, while continuing to complete her university degree in system engineering.
‘’My father tells me I am very different from my sisters. Their mentality was always to get married and have children, and for me it has always been to study hard and find a good job. I have always wanted to own my own business and look at me now! I have also had the opportunity to travel to Europe with Teacher Chris back in 2009 and just last year I went to Italy to an entrepreneurial fair to market my products.’’
Leticia is thankful for the support CasaSito gave her and has decided to give back. She is currently working on her website for online shopping, where a small percentage of all online profits will be donated to CasaSito!
You can check out the store on Facebook
Please give today and help us empower more Guatemalan youth, like Leticia so they can have a better future!