12 Feb
  • By Theresa DeSouza
  • Cause in

Meet Marisol

A few months ago we introduced you to Dina, one half of the Montessori pre-school’s team. Now we would like you to meet the other half of the dynamic duo, Marisol.

Marisol is a soft and quiet woman. She never raises her voice, talking in a near whisper, and yet the tiny Montessori students hear every word she says. They listen to every word she says and admire her greatly. She is vital to our Montessori program and UPAVIM as a whole.

[image source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”1970″ align=”left”] Marisol has lived in La Esperanza since she moved here at eight years old with her mother, father and two sisters. Her family moved to La Esperanza in search of a better life. Like many of the families that came to this “squatter settlement” they claimed land here, moving from a place where they had been spending all their money on rent. She remembers La Esperanza in a time before there were any roads, lights or water and before there was any violence.

When she was young, her father moved to the United States. He lived there for four years, working and sending his earnings back to his family in Guatemala, so for a long time it was just the three sisters and their mother. At the age of ten, Marisol was already working, selling tamales and other food on the streets of La Esperanza. With the money she and her family were making, they gradually built a real house, where she still lives with her own family today.

[blockquote align=”right”]The people of La Esperanza respect and are grateful for everything UPAVIM does for us.[/blockquote]Marisol came to UPAVIM through the breast-feeding program, after having her first son. She began working in “Cunas,” looking after babies so that their mothers could work making crafts close by. Marisol was trained by volunteer Montessori teachers and has been teaching in the UPAVIM Montessori school ever since (Fourteen years!)

The Montessori Pre-school is now impossible to imagine without Marisol’s singsong voice and her gentle ways with the adorable preschoolers. And it seems for her it is impossible to imagine life without UPAVIM,  “it is my second home, life is better, all my children are educated thanks to UPAVIM, and life is so much easier because I now receive a salary”

Marisol has four children, she is very proud of each of them and with good reason. Her eldest son is 18 years old and has graduated high school and is working. Her daughter is 16 and is studying in high school. She has two younger sons, Daniel and Alejandro, both of whom attend the UPAVIM School. The family is very close, and they share the house with Marisol’s sister, Nora, and her husband and children. Like Marisol, Nora is a proud UPAVIMa and has two sons in the UPAVIM School.

Marisol speaks very highly of UPAVIM. She thinks about the future, and dreams of seeing UPAVIM expand even further. She hopes UPAVIM will be able to make space for the older members of La Esperanza’s community, somewhere they can come and receive health and social services.

Like many of the women here in UPAVIM, when asked about her dreams for her own family, Marisol talks about the importance of education. She hopes to see her children graduate, go on to study for university degrees, and go into good professions. Her kids are already on a great path and are lucky to have such a strong role model in Marisol.

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