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Changing the World: A Garage Sale for a University Education

Horténsia González and her family

By Jo Sanders

This is a story about how a life can change, and how those changes ripple out and change other lives.

Garage Sale
Sat, Oct 3, 10-4pm
San Juan 10
Colonia San Antonio
Benefits university education

Horténsia González, or Horte for short, lives with her husband, her two children, and her extended family in a tiny community named El Huizachal on the road toward Querétaro. El Huizachal is in the middle of bean and cornfields and has about 150 families in small houses lining the dirt roads that become muddy rivers when it rains.

Horte cleaned houses for a living. Through sheer dumb luck, she wound up cleaning my house.  Through me, her children read the book for the first year’s Libros para Todos project, then called Libros Sin Fronteras, and met the author. (El Huizachal will participate again this year as one of the rural communities for the fourth annual Libros para Todos weekend in November, receiving 62 books by Juan Villoro called El Libro Salvaje and chosen as one of the communities to host the author’s visit in November because of the enthusiasm of the teachers and students of this small community.)  That led to the suggestion that Horte, obviously so intelligent, consider a career. With the help of Lucy Ocaña and Jorge Lodigiani, retired professors from Mexico City, Horte visited local universities and chose the nursing program at the Universidad Allende. She finished her prepa (high school). Mujeres en Cambio sponsored her for a scholarship, which she won and which covers her tuition.

A group of generous friends have been providing additional financial support for books, her nursing uniform and a stethoscope, transportation, and living expenses. Mujeres en Cambio gave Horte her own computer, so now she can do email and access the Internet for her homework at school, enabling her to spend more time with her family at home.  Horte has just started her second of four years, and this year she will be introduced to clinical practice with actual humans.

Horte’s eight-year-old daughter, Arely, asked recently if her grandma can read.  “No, when abuelita was young there was no school here, so she can’t read.”  “Hmmm,” said Arely.  “Abuelita can’t read and you are going to university to be a nurse. When I grow up, I will be a lawyer and a judge.”

We are having a garage sale with many unusual and wonderful items donated by kind people to raise money for Horte’s university expenses. We have clothes, an oriental carpet, a large microwave oven, audio books and paper books, a tooled leather desk set, an external hard drive, jewelry, kitchen items, and much more. Please do come to our garage sale on Saturday, October 3, Calle San Juan 10 (near Calle Sabino) from 10am to 4pm. Come meet Horte, and help change the world.


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