Fight Poverty: Educate Women in Panama

by Fundacion Calicanto
Oct 18, 2013

Meet Agustina, an example of a Capta woman

Agustina: beautiful, hard worker and proud
Agustina: beautiful, hard worker and proud

My name is Agustina, my mother is a housemaid, my dad is a chauffer and I have 7 brothers. Seventeen years ago I arrived to the city with a dream to start my own business. My aunt and I started a restaurant but not everything turned out as we planned. The business broke financially and we had to sell absolutely everything to pay off debts. I was completely broke and alone, when I met someone who tried to help me I fell in love and I thought he was the man of my dreams. He helped me start another business selling fried foods in Santa Ana (urban community in Panama City), but I barely made enough to feed my daughter.

With time, the relationship went sour. He was rude and would mouth-off when he got home drunk; he cheated and didn’t respect me, I was constantly humiliated. I realized that he got worse with time and I decided to leave him. I felt trapped and then I found out that I was pregnant with his child. I felt that my life had lost meaning. I continued to work at the stand but it wasn’t enough, we didn’t have enough to eat and didn’t live well.

One day as I was walking to the local church, I ran into a gentleman who started talking to me about something called Calicanto. A few days later, I signed up for the CAPTA course. At first I thought it was a little silly and I was also scared since I didn’t have any skills or preparation for this course.

I still remember the first day when we met Ms. Hildegard, she said that this was a day for change and that from that moment on, we would start our new life. During the course, I woke up at 4:00 a.m. every day; it was really tough! I had to organize myself and learn to do things with time.

I started to value myself and I saw that there were so many women like me who had gone through similar difficulties. These women were my friends, I learned to love myself through them while learning a new skill. I have been employed now for 4 years as a housekeeper in a hotel located in Casco Antiguo. I work and enjoy what I do. I am starting to learn English and I hope to get a better position in the future.

I own my home, which I bought with my savings and hard work.


CAPTA changed my life. Help Calicanto keep changing lives.


Agustina Henríquez

Agustina, sharing her story with other women
Agustina, sharing her story with other women

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Organization Information

Fundacion Calicanto

Location: Panama City, Panama - Panama
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Hildegard Vasquez
Panama, Panama