Meet Lorena, Community Schools participant
My name is Lorena. I’m from Guatemala, I’m 18 years old, and I have decided to follow my passion and do what I love: play soccer. I have not always been so sure of myself, and despite the hardships we’ve been through, I have been fortunate enough to have a family I am close to. I’ve also had the opportunity to participate in Glasswing’s after-school programs since I was young.
I arrived in the capital from Chichicastenango, when I was nine years old because my father wanted a better future for us, his three children.
At the Pablo Neruda school in Villa Nueva, I learned about Glasswing’s clubs and quickly enrolled in the Soccer Club even though I was told numerous times that “soccer is not for girls.” People would say that I cannot play or learn techniques and tricks because I am a woman, but I decided to ignore it and continue on with my passion, which helps me to have fun and release stress at the same time.
Over the years I joined the Entre Jóvenes Club (Among Youth Club) and in both spaces, I learned to empower myself and follow my dreams. Now I feel more secure and my self-esteem is higher. Women have, or should have, the same rights as men. I did not know that and understanding it has made me stronger.
This encouraged me and gave me the security to start working in agriculture to create a garden. For now, I am still learning, focusing on costs and sales. I hope to have a garden that will help me and my family soon.
That is why I hope Glasswing continues to do its work, continues to help more young people, and continues to support us as young people with this message: that no matter where we live, we can move forward and not fall down. To follow our dreams, because that is what life is about, having dreams. Without dreams, there are no goals and that does not help us believe in ourselves.
“Villa Nueva is considered one of the most violent municipalities in Guatemala and one of the areas with high levels of crime. According to the 2018 Crime and Violence Index, the homicide rate is 41.1 per 100,000 inhabitants. In addition, Villa Nueva ranks second in terms of numbers of vile events in the department of Guatemala. “
Source: Technical Secretariat of the National Security Council of Guatemala, August 2018