Today is the last day of the In Her Shoes Challenge! It’s been an amazing week and I’m sure our challenge participants are both excited to go back to their normal routines but also a little changed after trying out what it’s like to live on a lot less. The great part about this challenge for me is to see women around the world caring about each other. The truth is, the challenges that our Casita moms face are not much different than those faced by other women around the world. Motherhood is a life-long commitment and one that (as all the mothers I know tell me) no one is really prepared for. It has its difficulties, but mostly it has its joys. This is an important point for us at Casita. We don’t believe in criticizing or stereotyping our moms – each one has a unique story with unique struggles and successes. We believe in listening to them and trying our best to provide services that they want and need, resources that can help them “salir adelante” or move forward and towards a better future for them and their families. And thanks to the efforts of our challenge participants and our generous donors, we’re going to do just that.
On the last day of the challenge, we’re highlighting one of our staff members, Iliana Aldana, the director of the Women’s Program. You can read more about our women’s programs here and you can also still make a donation to help us reach our goal by clicking here.
Day 7: Iliana Aldana
Iliana Bertila Aldana was born in Copán Ruinas on April 16, 1980. This 33 old woman may not officially be a mother, but she happens to be an adopted one for 33 children at Casita Copán. Iliana is one of the regular paid staff at Casita, and she also is in charge of the Women’s Program. She has six brothers and sisters and lives with her mother, her sister, and her 5 year old nephew. She studied a Bachelor in Business Administration, but her first job was teaching in a rural school in the community of Monte Los Negros 8 kilometers from the town. Here, she worked for two years. In this time, she was given the chance to receive her Bachelor of Education which she completed. She then began teaching in a school closer to her home town. This is when she realized that she loved working with children. She had to stop working there though because of problems with the goverment. For four years, she was an internet administrator and secretary. She eventually moved to Guatemala where she lived for two years to study more. When she returned to Honduras, she started selling traditional candy and eventually heard about Casita. With her first visit to Casita Copán, Iliana realized this was the work she had been looking for. She felt that the children were part of her.
To Iliana, Casita Copán is not only a place where mothers leave their children, it is a place where she and other staff and volunteers have the opportunity to love kind-hearted, precious children. Thanks to Casita, Iliana believes every day is an opportunity to be able to take children in her arms and love them. Her dream is that the children will be able to learn and grow in a nurturing environment and eventually have good jobs that will sustain them. Each day she waters the seeds that she and others have sown for the children and mothers of Casita.