Fight Poverty: Educate Women in Panama

Jun 19, 2013

CAPTA Student Graduation Speech

Celica Williams
Celica Williams

"My name is Celica Williams and it is a great pleasure for me to speak on behalf of my colleagues.

I want to tell you a little about my story and how CAPTA changed my life. I come from Bocas del Toro (indigenous province in Panama about 8 hours away from the city). During a visit to my cousin Edefina who lives in the city and spoke to me about  a course that she was enrolling in and wanted me to join. I was afraid to join the course because I've never been away from my family for a long period of time.

My mother is a housewife and my dad is in a wheelchair due to a work accident he had a few years ago; we live off his pension. My seven year old daughter and my husband also live in the same house. I only completed sixth grade, my parents had no money to pay for school and it was also very far.

CAPTA was a challenge because I had to leave my daugher and husband in Bocas del Toro but I decided to leave and just asked God to take care of them.

I want to thank my cousin Edefina, who has given me strength. She encouraged me to take this opportunity for myself and my daughter. Edefina opened the doors to her home and has treated me very well. I sleep on the floor, because we live in a very small room, but I'm doing this for a better future.

Before coming to the course my dad told me, "Daughter take care of yourself, I never thought you would leave, I don’t understand why you are leaving but please be safe.” I told a neighbor about this program CAPTA and said, “don’t go, you are not prepared and will not make it through the program.” But guess what?

Now they know what I've accomplished, three women I know want to come to Panama City for this program. I am proud.

CAPTA changed me.  I used to be very nervous shy. I didn’t have any work experience and I never wore make-up. I am different now; and I have more confidence because of this course.

I want to thank everyone at Fundacion Calicanto, especially Dr. Celia because she taught me to value myself.

Fundacion Calicanto: thanks for the opportunity, I never thought I’d get an opportunity like this and now I feel like I can find employment and fulfill my goals.

Classmates: remember going forward with everything they have taught us, it was not an easy journey so you must do well and achieve your goals.

The guests and donors that support CAPTA, thank you because you give women the opportunity to be independent and empowerd.



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Project Leader

Hildegard Vasquez

Panama, Panama

Where is this project located?

Map of Fight Poverty: Educate Women in Panama