Sandra Paola Saban Pirir, age18, was the inspiration for the Brillaguate program in El Tejar. While she was still a girl, Sandra went out every morning with her mother to collect plastic bottles from the gutters of the town. They would sell them to recyclers for a few quetzales.
Her mother told us that the money they made collecting bottles allowed them to send Sandra to school. Sara and Aracely, two women leaders in the community, created Brillaguate to help young women like Sandra to continue studying.
Sandra has changed a lot in that time. According to Sara, “she was a very shy and insecure girl, but now she is a very enterprising lady and full of life.”
The Brillaguate program brings a group of teenage girls together monthly for workshops on everything from self-esteem, to job interviewing, to healthy relationships and personal hygiene. Along with leadership from Aracely and Sara, they have guest speakers and field trips. The program also helps them with school expenses so that they can remain in school. 12 girls participated in 2019, and 15 will be a part of the program in 2020, thanks to a generous donor. It also provides mentors and role models, in the form of Sara and Aracely, who are kind and competent professional women, who are engaged with and supporting their community.
Sandra says that Brillaguate has been a great help, not only economically, but that the meetings and spending time with other girls struggling with the same issues and overcoming them together gave her confidence and the desire to move forward.
This year she received a bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Hospitality. She is excited to move into her professional career, and we are grateful to her for inspiring a program that continues to enrich the lives of girls in El Tejar, and will for years to come.
To support Brillaguate and other PEG programs in Guatemala, please click here. Thank you for being a part of this work being done by Guatemalan women to have lasting positive impact on the lives of young women in their community.