Viviana graduated in 2013 from our Step by Step Scholarship program in Guatemala. Currently, Viviana is working as a chef for a catering company in Guatemala City.
Like all of our Step by Step Scholarship recipients in Guatemala, Viviana grew up in Zone 3, the garbage dump community, of Guatemala City. Her mother worked in the garbage dump every day bringing home glass bottles to break into pieces and sell. This is very little.
Viviana attended the Francisco Coll School located right in the heart of Zone 3 and became eligible to participate in our Step by Step Scholarship program. Naturally, Viviana jumped at the opportunity and immediately dove into studying. She had always dreamed of becoming a chef, and finally she had the chance to achieve that goal.
When Viviana graduated, she was hired as a chef for a catering company. It has been three years and Viviana is still successful in and passionate about her chosen career. She loves working as a chef.
Viviana tells us that she wanted to become a chef because growing up she knew the importance of food all too well. She remembers going to bed on an empty stomach often and listening to her younger siblings cry because they were hungry.
“Life was miserable. The pain you feel from being constantly hungry makes concentrating in school hard, makes wanting to learn hard. It just makes life harder than it already is,” she says.
Though occasionally Viviana’s mother still has to work in the dump, Viviana tells us that through her job she is able to provide enough support so her siblings no longer have to go to bed hungry.
“My mother did everything she could for us while we were growing up. It is not her fault that sometimes we couldn’t eat. Now, I am happy to be able to help her a little so she does not have to go to the dump all the time. At least we no longer have to go to bed hungry.”