A Mother’s Self Worth

“I have two children and I am not waiting around.”

There comes a time in everyone’s life when enough is enough.  Emelia Sorayda Cardona reached this breaking point one day as she plowed through her domestic chores, agonizing over how she was supposed to support her two small children and help her parents keep the family farm alive.  Despite all of her hard work, she was not bringing in any income.  Although Emelia had graduated in 2014 from High School with a specialization in digital electronics, she hadn’t had any success in finding a financially stable job. Her sense of self worth had deteriorated and she felt like a burden on her family.

A Mother’s Self Worth 2




As Emelia reflected on her life that morning, she broke down. The 26 year old mother of a 5 year old daughter (Martita) and one year old son (Thiago) realized that she needed to further her education if she was to secure a better financial future for her children.  She set off to change the course of her life and joined USAID’s Puentes Project implemented by World Vision. 

Having her mothers unconditional support meant that Emelia was able to attend training on Wednesdays and Fridays, while her mother looked after the children. The days that Emelia had her training, she woke up at the crack of dawn to cook, complete all her household chores, study and care for her children before setting off to class.

With the support of USAID, Emelia received training in healthcare and completed the Diplomado Emprender con Éxito and the "Volunteers in Health'' technical course. This entrepreneurial education was a critical step in Emelia’s journey towards promoting positive social change in her community.


Now her goal is to open a local pharmacy so that she can  give back to her community and improve the life of  her and her family. Emelia’s journey and entrepreneurial spirit also evoked a positive change in the youth of her community, particularly  the young girls who now know they too can study and pave the way of their future through education. Emelia wants young people to take advantage of opportunities that may come their way. Through her “ Successful Entrepreneurship”  Diploma, Emelia learned to value herself, regain her self-esteem, and create a financial life plan for her family. Emelia quickly came to learn that education is one of the most powerful tools a young woman can have.

A Mother’s Self Worth 3


Other young women can see me as an example, I have two children and I'm not waiting around, with the support of my family I trained and now I'm going to start a business”, said Emelia.

USAID/Guatemala and its development partners encourage young women to develop technical skills and provide them with the education, job training, and soft skills that will allow them to become entrepreneurs or obtain employment so that they can improve the quality of their lives, family and communities and have a better future in Guatemala.

A Mother’s Self Worth 5

About This Story

Written by Zeina Dubray, USAID/Guatemala Creative Director

The Puentes Project, implemented by World Vision Guatemala, supports youth in high-migration areas of Guatemala to access education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, while providing youth with basic life skills so they can actively contribute to their communities.

Learn more about USAID’s work in Guatemala and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Guatemala stories