Break the Chains of Slavery

May 23, 2013

Sandra Carolina Lopez Illescas

Sandra is second youngest of her four siblings. Her parents are currently living in Santa Rosa and visit their children every month; however, due to a lack of money they have not been able to visit recently. When the parents visited each month they contributed economically to the household, although it was not much. Life for Sandra has not been easy since she has had to work from a young age. A few months ago her job consisted of collecting old junk door to door in San Andres Itzapa. Though Sandra had little revenue, she was able to contribute something to her household.

A few years ago, the young lady also worked for a vegetable exporter in Zaragoza, Chimaltenango. Sandra’s boss at the time offered her an opportunity to go work abroad and promised a better quality of life and income. Sandra refused the offer. Then, some time ago, Sandra was walking home when four men attacked and raped her. As a result of this incident, Sandra became pregnant and later had a miscarriage; nonetheless, Sandra continued persevering to achieve her dreams and be someone in this world. 

Sandra´s greatest desire was to be able to have an education, however, the need for money to survive drove her to work in construction, as a mechanic, as a clown, and she was even forced to ask for money in the streets. The little money she collected she saved to be able to pay for school the next year. In 2010, Sandra received information about Centro Educativo Tecnico Scheel (Scheel Center) which belongs to Asociacion Nuestros Ahijados. In order to be able to go to the school, Sandra commuted from San Andres Itzapa to Jocotenango. Since Sandra did not have money to pay the bus ride in order to get to school, she worked on the bus collecting bus fares from the passengers and this way earning her bus ride. Once Sandra was accepted into the school she was provided a scholarship and a volunteer named Ida Jaarvik helped her cover the costs of the bus fare.

Although Sandra was receiving help, it was not enough to keep her from collecting junk to sell. As a result, Sandra was received into the program of ITEMP to provide her extra assistance due to all she had been through. The first step in the program was to provide with psychological assistance and then carry out medical exams. Additionally, Sandra received help to fund her education.

In the end, Sandra was not the only one that benefited from the assistance that was provided. With the help the family received from ITEMP, Sandra´s sister, was also able to go to school. Currently, both women are studying. Sandra was also able to attend some beauty course and continue studying at the Scheel Center. Sandra´s entire family is grateful for the help they have received. Thanks to the support she received from Asociacion Nuestros Ahijados, Sandra ´s life has improved and she now has a promising future as a professional.


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Project Leader

Jose Roberto Arevalo

Antigua, Sacatepequez Guatemala

Where is this project located?

Map of Break the Chains of Slavery