In Her Shoes Day 2: Maria Elena

Today is Day Two of the In Her Shoes Challenge. Our challengers are probably starting to feel the burn of having only $21 to spend on food for an entire week. $21 is the average salary of our Casita moms, but the reality is that this money has to cover rent and bills, not just food. So our moms are left with about half of that, between $8-12 to feed their families every week. Because Casita provides breakfast, lunch, and snacks to our kids, our Casita moms can make their money stretch farther and sleep a little easier knowing that they are not all alone. Today, we are excited to share the story of one of our Casita moms, Maria Elena.

Day Two: Maria Elena

Maria Elena was born in Armenia, Copán Ruinas on May 4, 1986. She is 27 years old with two children. She had her first child, a daughter, Doris Oneida (or Iris as she likes to be called), who is now 11, at age 17. Eventually, she had Wilson Aldai, who now is five. For several years, she was unable to provide the stable home environment she wanted for her children. She moved to the town of Copán in search of a job and a better future for Doris and Wilson. For two years, she made flour tortillas for baleadas in a tortilla shop, but she was eventually let go because there was not enough work. She now works as a housekeeper with a salary of L 1,600 ($80) per month paying a rent of L 800 ($40) per month.

Maria Elena did not attend school, but she hopes for a good education for her two children. She also wants to teach them to have a good work ethic. Maria greatly appreciates the assistance of Casita Copán because she does not think her family could survive on such a small salary. Her children both are thriving in Casita and have outgoing and bright personalities. Maria’s personality is shy, but she wishes to be more outgoing as well. She shows her love to her children through her words and actions. Her personal dream is to have her own business making tortillas.

Every day this week, we will highlight a special mom and share her story as part of the In Her Shoes Challenge. We are constantly amazed and inspired by the mothers at Casita, women who sacrifice so much to work hard and provide a better future for their families. If you’d like to learn more about how you can help, you can check out the Challenge or read more about our programs for women.