| Nov 21, 2023
Meet Carmen: Embodying dedication, emanating inspiration
Carmen with her Degree
To meet Carmen is to meet the embodiment of dedication. Carmen entered the Filantropis Becarios program in 2014 as part of the third cohort of Scholars. She is from a small town called Xix, located about 20 kilometers from the center of Chajul, and home to people of the Mayan Quiche ethnicity. Carmen’s nearly 10-year journey to gain her title included incredible milestones, such as becoming the Scholars Program Coordinator for Filantropis, serving as the President of the Board of Directors and Legal Representative for the association, becoming the first female landowner in Xix, designing and building her home alongside her husband, Gaspar, and - perhaps most importantly - becoming a mother to her smart and spunky son, Teo.
Last month, after a decade of perseverance and adhering to her dream, Carmen graduated with her degree in Business Administration from Mariano Galvez University. If her accomplishment wasn’t already impressive enough, Carmen’s degree was paired with a Master’s program, and very shortly she will also be receiving her MA in Human Resources.
In Carmen’s words, “What I have achieved is not only a degree. I have had a job and the experience to travel outside of Guatemala for the first time. In my community, I am the third woman to graduate with her university degree, the first to leave the country as a working mother, spouse, and professional. My story has been, and will continue to be, a source of inspiration for many women in my community. I went to elementary and middle school in my community, then completed my high school in a public school where I studied teaching, which was my only option. Now, I am demonstrating to the youth and parents that it is not the school that makes one follow their goals; it is the attitude and desire to learn.”
Now, Carmen is steadfast in her objective to leverage her accomplishment by serving and supporting other Chajulense youth, including her younger sister, who Carmen is committed to supporting through high school and college. Carmen is preparing for a role as the Director of Filantropis, and knows that her example will greatly support a new generation of leaders and changemakers in Xix and throughout Chajul. Carmen’s achievement - and those of her peers - is made possible via wide and vast circles of support, such as what you all are offering. Carmen shares that contributions go beyond the financial impact; they also provide emotional support and great inspiration for her and other Scholars. For this, we offer a sincere gratitude to you all…and a hearty congratulations for Carmen!