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Youth & Economic Empowerment

Let’s Not Give Other People the Power to Beat Us

By Daniela

When I was selected to travel with Plan International to Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards and other Plan events in California, I felt the greatest happiness in the world, because it allowed me to realize one of my biggest dreams: traveling.

I am from an area in Guatemala called Baja Verapaz. It is located in the north of the country and has eight municipalities. Where I live, the climate is varied, and we are known for our hospitality. I am currently studying Administration and I hope to graduate next year.

I participate in trainings offered by Plan, and currently I am a spokesperson for the “Because I am A Girl” movement. These trainings help me understand important issues for girls and their families. 

While I was excited about the opportunity to travel, I also felt a lot of anxiety and curiosity about getting to know another country and the challenge of proving that I have many capacities and positive qualities. It was also difficult for me to communicate with other people because I do not read or understand English. 

The flight was the most spectacular thing I have experienced. I could see outside from the window and enjoyed how beautiful everything looked from above. During the flight I saw the movie "Finding Dory."  On our way back, I was very tired so I just slept during the flight. 

Another thing I enjoyed very much was the exquisite food. In particular, I enjoyed a huge cheeseburger. The weather was very beautiful, because it was cold only the night before the trip.

What impressed me most was getting to know other people who – through their effort, dedication, and great hearts – have managed to be successful. A great example is actress Marcia Cross, a Plan ambassador I had the opportunity to meet.

Attending Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards was an incredible experience.

I think the women who were honored are brilliant and very intelligent. They have had the opportunity to undertake and develop their leadership, and have struggled very hard to accomplish their goals. Despite obstacles, they have achieved their dreams, aspirations, and life projects.

This year, Glamour also decided to give an award to a man. Bono from U2 was the recipient. I think it was as an opportunity for gender equity, as he does wonderful things to save the lives of more than 17 million people in sub-Saharan Africa who have no resources to buy medicine for HIV.

If I had the opportunity to give a “Woman of the Year” award, I would choose the most spectacular person in the world – a humble and simple woman – my mother. She gets up to work very hard day after day, assuming the responsibility of being a father and mother for us, and she has helped us to move forward.

Besides the Glamour Women of the Year Awards, my trip was phenomenal. I loved visiting Universal Studios, the Natural History Museum, the corporate headquarters of Plan partner Lovesick, and Marcia Cross’s house. I loved meeting and starting a friendship with Joselyn from Ecuador, who also attended as an ambassador, and Adriana, her chaperone.

Overall, the trip provided an incredible opportunity to stand up for gender equality and the rights of girls and women.

Women: Let's not give other people the power to beat us. We must continue to fight for our rights and have the same opportunities that men have. We are strong and if we unite, we are better equipped to fight for what we really want and not let anything or anybody stop us.  

Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, said "To succeed, we must believe in something with so much passion, that in the end it becomes a reality." 

We should not rest until we achieve what we want; keep moving forward without fear of expressing our thoughts, feelings, and abilities and prove that no one can stop progress in our lives. If we have already gone a long way doing what we think is right, we should not let ourselves down. 

As Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State for the U.S., said: "It took me a long time to develop my voice and now that I have it, I will not stay in silence. We impose the limits ourselves. We are not the weak sex; on the contrary, we are much stronger than they think. If we all come together and fight for our goals, we will achieve them. "

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