The Catita’s spirit: Education changes Mexican women’s destiny.

Klaudia
Posted April 8, 2013 from Mexico

This article was written as a compulsory assignment for the Voices of Our Future Contest http://worldpulse.com/pulsewire/programs/voices-of-our-future

One year ago, my Grandma Catita passed away. She never had the chance to learn how to read or write. Nevertheless, she is acknowledged as the most clever and intelligent women in the family. Catita had an amazing memory, something any historian would envy; the most contagious guffaw; and, 17 children being raised in the worst poverty imaginable. Envisioning education as the most important issue in life, she managed to raise 13 of them. Often, they had nothing to eat, but tortillas*. They went to school in the morning and worked as laborers or shepherds in the afternoon. Thanks to education, my dad became one of the first computer engineers in Mexico. Two generations from Catita, I have two graduate degrees from the top Universities in the world.

I was lucky to live in our times and enjoy technological advances. I still remember the first time I met web 2.0 and it actually changed my life for good. Somebody told me about a nannies program abroad and I looked for the information on the internet. I ended up spending a year in New York and seventeen years later, I have accomplished graduate studies and worked for two of the most important international organizations: OAS and UN.

Currently, I am devoted to guarantee the best available right to health for Latin American children through the launching of a continental network for prevention of illnesses that can cause disabilities. This network is a virtual space for international exchange and cooperation and it takes advantage of web 2.0. This network would mean that I can help future women to empower themselves in order to change their destinies and their descendants’.

Think of being Catita for one minute and imagine what you would be able to accomplish with access to web 2.0. Nowadays, with access to digital media and Catita’s spirit, women illiteracy could be easily eliminated. Even more, they could advocate internationally for their rights and even transform their countries.

RENAPRED**, the institution I work for, covers all the Mexican territory with maternal health and prevention campaigns made in its own broadcasting station. Since, Mexico has an alarming maternity mortality rate, RENAPRED currently promotes the daily intake of folic acid*** and tries to reach as many women in fertility age as possible. Catita lost 4 children because bad pregnancies or neonatal preventable illnesses. By means of web 2.0, we try to bring closer the right information and make it accessible for people with disabilities. Health and education will certainly make the perfect formula to assure a better destiny for the future Mexican voices.

  • Corn flat flour bread.

**RENAPRED The National Network for Disability Prevention (Red Nacional para la Prevención de la Discapacidad www.renapred.org.mx)

***Folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube disorders and other congenital deficiencies that can cause disabilities in newborns. It has to be taken daily before, during and after the pregnancy. Folic Acid also helps to prevent preeclampsia and eclapsia among other illnesses.

Girls Transform the World 2013

Comments 24

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IamTruth
Apr 09, 2013
Apr 09, 2013

Great story! I think your Grandma would be proud.

I agree with you that being digitally literate can open many new avenues to us, most of which were unavailable to women in previous generations. I feel fortunate, but I also feel a sense of loss for our predecessors.

My grandmother was functionally illiterate, yet she managed to raise ten children all on her own. I often wonder how her life would have been different if she'd had access to the opportunities and tools I am now have (and often take for granted).

We should continue to honor their memories, by taking full advantage of the gifts we have been blessed with.

Al.

Klaudia
Apr 09, 2013
Apr 09, 2013

Thank you very much for your kind words. I appreciate them. all the best Klaudia

Rachael Maddock-Hughes
Apr 09, 2013
Apr 09, 2013

Powerful story and beautifully written. The virtual exchange that you are helping to create for preventable diseases sounds amazing, I am sure that Catita would be proud of you!

Kind regards,

Rachael

Klaudia
Apr 10, 2013
Apr 10, 2013

Dear Rachel:

I'm very glad you liked it. Ever since Catita passed away I wanted you write about her and the fact she though of education as the great tool to get better and safer lifes. I always try to think of me as her, so all my stepstones are hers. cheers from beautiful Mexico Klaudia

milliej7
Apr 10, 2013
Apr 10, 2013

I really enjoyed reading your text Klaudia. Your use of personal examples makes your writing very effective and puts the wider issues you mention into a clear, interesting and relevant perspective.

I like the way you illustrate the development of the internet by using the example of your grandmother and your own experience two generations later. You talk about female illiteracy being easily eliminated nowadays.

Keep writing, keep educating and inspiring women Kaludia. I'm sure your grandmother would have been very proud of you if she had read this piece.

Klaudia
Apr 10, 2013
Apr 10, 2013

Dear Millie

I wonder if you speak Spanish. thanks for reading this piece and your kind words. I am very glad to have had Catita in my life 'cause she taught us to care about other people as much as ourselves. I've traveled alot and had amazing life experiencies and I like to imagine the women of my family are always with me as me to fullfill their own dreams.

muchos Saludos Klaudia

milliej7
Apr 11, 2013
Apr 11, 2013
Klaudia
Apr 12, 2013
Apr 12, 2013

Genial muchas gracias Millie, revisaré el artículo. Saludos y un abrazo Klaudia

Klaudia
Apr 12, 2013
Apr 12, 2013

Se me olvidó decir que el año pasado estuve en Colombia y me enamoré de el país, pero sobretodo de Bogóta. Mi compañero de casa en Canadá es colombiano y ya llevaba un poco impregnado el gusto por ustedes. Qué gran gente!!

milliej7
Apr 17, 2013
Apr 17, 2013

Pues si, a mi me encanta Bogota tambien. Hay que decir que no soy Colombiano, pero Inglesa. Trabajo aqui y estoy enamorada de este pais tan lindo! Algun dia quiero conocer a tu pais tambien Klaudia.... :)

Klaudia
Apr 17, 2013
Apr 17, 2013

Sí Millie aquí te esperamos muy pronto, México es tan lindo y amable como Colombia. fuertes abrazos!! Klaudia

milliej7
Apr 17, 2013
Apr 17, 2013

Ay que bien! Donde vives Klaudia? Una amiga mia va a vivir en DF a partir de Septiembre...

Klaudia
Apr 17, 2013
Apr 17, 2013

en ciudad de México. Si necesita algo con mucho gusto te doy mis datos. De hecho una amiga cercana también trabaja en el British council, se llama Liliana Carral.

milliej7
Apr 17, 2013
Apr 17, 2013

Ay, que bien! :)

Rahmana Karuna
Apr 12, 2013
Apr 12, 2013

are so awesome. thank you for writing about yours. i cannot help but think how a diet of tortilla's and such poverty can create healthy life. and look, your father, and you!!!!! feed and educate the women. many tears and laughter for your abuela.

Klaudia
Apr 12, 2013
Apr 12, 2013

I'm very grateful to have met and enjoyed my two grandmothers and learned so much from them. I thank life every day for having such greart ancestors in my life, thanks for reading this piece. cheers from beautiful Mexico Klaudia

Jumi
Apr 12, 2013
Apr 12, 2013

Hey, Klaudia. Catita is not dead. She lives in you and the millions of women all over the world who are working to ensure a better future for us all. Maternal health is an issue that should be front and centre because we need both mothers and babies. Great job adding your voice to the debate.

Klaudia
Apr 12, 2013
Apr 12, 2013

you know every time I traveled or achieve something really important I can feel her. So I think she lives on me as me. you know a write one of my thesis on Nigerian politics. cheers from beautiful Mexico

Anna V
Apr 14, 2013
Apr 14, 2013

Your post is very well written. The family experiences that you relay show how important your journey is, not only for yourself, but to change the cycle of poverty for your family and others. Thank you for sharing.

Klaudia
Apr 14, 2013
Apr 14, 2013

thank you very much for reading it! The first time I went to Europe to undertake graduate degrees,I promised Catita I'll make her values my own in order to influence other people's lives for good. My hope is to fullfil this promise. Cheers from beautiful Mexico Klaudia

RubyMoon
Apr 14, 2013
Apr 14, 2013

My Grandmother too, was an inspiration to me so much that I named my social enterprise after her. Rubymoon.org.uk Thanks for sharing your wonderful story- the world is filled with so many good people that I am sure that we can all connect now via the net, and create a better place to live. Thanks again

Klaudia
Apr 14, 2013
Apr 14, 2013

I seriously dream with a world where humans care for others including animals and trees. thanks for such kind words!! I'm convinced we need inspirational women like our ancenstors and ourselves to achieve better places to live ;) regards from beautiful Mexico Klaudia

Irmia Fitriyah
Apr 21, 2013
Apr 21, 2013

What a great post! It's always interesting that we are inspired by someone who's closed to us :)

Mia

Klaudia
Apr 23, 2013
Apr 23, 2013

Indeed, it's so great to have something or somebody to be inspired for. I do appreciate your kind words and support. Cheers from beautiful Mexico Klaudia