Learning is Wonderful
Despite facing obstacle after obstacle, Marta is proving that an education is worth the struggle – and Plan International is supporting her dreams.
Barriers were thrown before Marta beginning at an early age. She repeated the first grade of primary school three times but was able to make it through the sixth grade. Marta’s passion for learning came from her mother, Zulma, who was not able to attend school as a child and wanted a different fate for her daughter.
Marta discovered what her mother already knew: Learning is wonderful. She loved to draw and play, and once she learned how to read and write, she loved studying.
By the time she was 14, she had completed primary school and was about to face a bigger challenge to her education goals: her father.
Marta’s father said she could not attend secondary school due to distance, cost, and fear that something could happen to her. He stood his ground and would not change his mind.
Marta spent a year helping her mother at home with chores, but Plan soon stepped in.
A Plan-supported scholarship program in Guatemala gave Marta new hope. A Plan facilitator even visited the family and helped Marta convince her father to allow her to continue her education.
Thanks to Plan, she was able to buy a uniform, shoes, and school supplies.
Getting to school wasn’t easy. Marta walked 40 minutes along rocky roads that turn to mud during the rainy season. The trek leaves Zulma restless, but she was happy that her daughter was able to once again receive an education.
“I am not afraid of anything,” Marta said. “Sometimes I walk through the storm.”
Obstacles remain, but Marta’s persistence is incredible.
The 16-year-old serves as a teacher to her younger sisters, and she spends most of her nights under one light bulb in her home catching up on her studies. Studying became harder when it was apparent that she suffered from poor vision.
“The teacher did not know that I had visual problems until he noticed, then everyone contributed with money so I could go to the hospital for an examination,” she said.
Despite her eyesight, she managed to catch up with the rest of her classmates in only three months. Her teacher, Professor Hernan, dedicated much of his time to help her learn. The school is supported by Plan and functions as a Telesecundaria, which uses television programs to educate students about a variety of subjects.
Marta is able to realize her right to an education each and every day, thanks to the support of Plan and her community.