Imelda comes from Nahualá in the department of Sololá. Her father left the family planning to emigrate to the United States when Imelda was two years old and her mother was pregnant with younger brother. They have never heard from him since the day he left and are uncertain if he is still alive. Until the children were old enough to help, Imelda's mother was the sole provider for the family. According to Imelda she worked from morning until night sewing cortes (traditional skirts) in order to feed and clothe her children. She also worked a small plot of land raising corn and beans for family consumption.
With the help of a scholarship, Imelda was able to graduate from a private indigenous school as a bilingual teacher in the languaages K’iche’/ Spanish. Her grades were very good with an average of 90 in her final two years and she writes and expresses herself well. Her goal is to study law at the Mariano Galvez University in Quetzaltenango and she estimates that her expenses will be approximately $140 a month. She believes she will be able to obtain work and pay about $40 this herself. She wants to work in her community after she graduates and dreams of becoming a community leader and eventually even a politician working in the Mayor’s office or some other institution where she can help the poor.
Imelda is smart and determined and we think she is capable of reaching her goals although it will be very difficult because her mother will not be able to help her. Never the less most of our legal students are able to work at least part time while they study and we think Imelda will be able to find work in Quetzaltenango to supplement our support.