She works sixty hours on her weaving to make thirty dollars.
This (below) is her office:
stood in. It has an intact roof, carpeting, climate control and lighting. The awards on the wall were given to me during my years of service in Guatemala. But here is my best-kept secret. In our hearts, our board members know that the real award winners are the women we help.
Put any one of us in a dirt floored hut with no bed to sleep in, contaminated water to drink and no electricity and we wouldn't last very long. Add a lifetime of hunger, lack of medical care and the inability to feed our children and we would be crawling our way out of the mountains of Guatemala. Staying there for more than a week wouldn't be an option. For Maria, there is no other option. She can't marry her way out of her position in life; she tried, but her husband died of tuberculosis. Jobs are not only unavailable in her village, but as an illiterate indigenous woman, she wouldn't qualify. So she weaves, and has her daughters do the same, because a dollar for several hours of work is better than no dollar at all. Her willingness to get up and face each day, with the multiple challenges involved, makes Maria, Candalaria, Rosa, and all of the women we help award winners.