Glenda Raquel Acosta Salgado
Location: El Sauce, Nicaragua
Glenda was one of our students several years ago. She is very bright and talented, and we were heartbroken when she left school after her fourth year of secondary school to have a baby. It seemed like Glenda was another statistic in terms of early pregnancy and lack of meaningful employment.
During a visit to El Sauce in December of 2016, Christa was overjoyed to run into Glenda and have a long conversation with her, which could not have been more wonderful. Glenda told Christa that she understood what the foundation was trying to do, and how it was trying to help. She understood the message that we are trying to pass along. In fact, she was so clear on what she had learned that she returned to high school, graduated, entered the university, and is now getting ready to start her second year of nursing school in February!
Christa and Meghan had dinner with Glenda and her partner Keyslor. We were both prepared to not like him at all (another boy who took away one of our girls!). But he turned out to be the sweetest young man, completely dedicated to his family and to his education, and to learning more English, which he speaks very well. He just graduated from the university, and is waiting to receive his “titulo” (kind of like his diploma). Unfortunately, he cannot find work in his field until he receives it, and that may be a year or more. So he is piecing together work wherever he can find it. Glenda works full time at a clothing store in town, and studies Saturdays. She is completely committed to finishing her schooling and getting a job as a nurse.
Glenda told us that she ran into Ana Regina, the first girl to receive a scholarship from the foundation. Ana Regina left school at 15 and has a baby as well. Glenda said she asked her why she didn’t go back to school and Ana said she couldn’t be bothered, since she now has a child. Glenda told her, “that’s exactly why you should go back to school.” Right on Glenda!
We are so proud of her for persevering, despite the challenges of trying to work full time, raise a child, live in a less than ideal situation (with a mother-in-law who is less than supportive), and having very few resources. So we include Glenda in our “Graduates” page, even though she did not technically graduate while still in our program. To us, she will always be a ONE girl! We wish her all the best the world has to offer.
July: We are very sorry to learn that Glenda tried to get a job in Nicaragua but was unable to get a job nursing. The one job she found paid less than the night guard for the hospital, and not enough to support her son and ultimately be able to build her own home in El Sauce. She found a job at a motorcycle dealer in El Sauce, and it was supposed to pay well enough to get by, plus commissions. But the economy has really tanked there, and her pay kept getting cut further and further, and few people were buying motorcycles. So Glenda came to the United States, where she is allowed to stay legally and work while she waits for her court date.
Life here isn’t very easy, either. Her work pays very little for the cost of things in the United States. She doesn’t have a car, so she has to find work very close to where she is staying, and that is very limiting. Ultimately, she wants so much to work as a nurse again, and we hope that she will be able to return to her country with enough money to build her house, and tide her over until she can find a job that pays well enough to survive. We are sad she had to leave her dreams behind, but we hope it will be temporary. Glenda is far too bright and talented to be washing dishes.
December: Glenda graduated! We are so proud of her efforts. She worked so very hard to get here, through political violence, hurricanes washing out bridges and roads, a Covid pandemic, and the need to work and care for her young son. We couldn’t be prouder. She wants to do delivery and obstetrics and we know she will be great at that.
August: Glenda received her diploma! She is still a few months away from getting her titulo (her license), but she is one wonderful step closer! She is hoping to work in a private clinic in another city. El Sauce doesn’t have a lot of options, and it can be challenging to navigate the politics of a small town. We are so excited for her; she is so close!
July: Glenda has about five months to go to finish her degree! She was able to reenter school in February and she’s been working really hard. Things are tough in Nicaragua now, with political upheaval and violence, but she is staying with it, doing her practicum in Leon. We are so proud of her. She’s such an extraordinary young woman, and has been through so much, and we are very excited for her that she is going to finish soon. We are hoping to be there in person for a huge celebration!
It has been a really challenging time for everyone in Nicaragua, and Glenda is no exception. Due to some issues at home, she had to leave school to earn some money, so she spent time working at a fast-food style restaurant. Once the pandemic hit, the restaurants closed down for a while, so she was able to find work using her nursing skills to take care of some elderly people in town. It didn’t pay much, but she at least was able to do work more closely related to her career. Glenda is nothing if not persistent; she saved money, found relatives to help take care of her son, and she worked really hard to be able to go back to school in 2021. In early March of 2021, she entered her last year of nursing school! We are so proud of her; she has had some huge challenges in her path, and she works so hard to overcome all of them. We can’t wait to see her graduate!
February, 2019 Update
Glenda is still in nursing school, and she is doing really well. Despite the political troubles that closed down the university, and her son’s health problems, she is moving ahead and getting ready to finish her third year. She recently did her practicum, which the school graciously let her do in El Sauce, since her son was diagnosed with asthma, and leaving him for two weeks at a time would have been very challenging. She says she loves working with the children, and she is looking forward to the next year of school. Congratulations, Glenda!