Marcaria lives with her parents in a household of 11 persons, including siblings, a sister in law, niece, and her son. The house is very small. They have a small plot of land where they raise corn and beans, but it is not enough to feed the whole family. Her father and some of her brothers find some work as day laborers, but it is very inconsistent. Her small teacher's salary provides more income than all the rest combined. Half of her income goes to the family, leaving her with half a salary for her own and her son's expenses and nothing left over to pursue her studies. The house is quite primitive: tin roof, a patchwork of walls made of roofing metal, bamboo sticks, and block, and dirt floor, parts of which are covered with a thin concrete layer.
Marcaria's passion is for language and literature. She is aware that the ability to read and write well is crucial for advancement in the world, and that there is a critical need for teachers. With her advanced degree, she will be able to train students in secondary school in writing and use of language, an area much underserved in rural Guatemalan schools. She also has personal goals to improve her knowledge of literature and her writing skills for two reasons. One that she might someday be able to write her own literature, and the other that often leaders of rural communities have poor writing skills and she could be of use helping with the writing of proposals, reports, etc. Her first community service project involved working with a group of beginning readers using advanced teaching techniques involving games, puzzles, and short stories, among other things. She has also been very active in her church, leading a women's group and working with children's classes.
Marcaria is a young woman of great strength of character and resolve. She comes from a very poor background from which she has not yet escaped, and has a young son to raise on her own. But her vision and determination are clear and strong. With the help of Progresa she will both make a good life for herself and her son, but also build stronger and more competent generations to come.