Meet our global family
Now it’s time to meet a girl from Honduras. As you read about Maríe Ana and her family, think about what you might have in common with them.
María Ana is 16 years old. Serious and kind, she lives with her parents, four brothers and one sister in Honduras, a country in Central America. Her village, El Pinal, is surrounded by hills. Maria Ana speaks Spanish.
María dreams to become a nurse and help her family get out of poverty, She is one of the best in her class and is willing even to work nearby city La Esperanza to full fill her dream. Her parents Cristobal and María Demetria don’t know if they are going to have the money to keep her at high school when she finishes her 9th grade. She lives in poverty stricken El Pinal village in San Francisco de Opalaca, Intibucá Honduras. She is a beneficiary of the CRS Food for Education program that gives her and her two brothers Denis and Marcos a meal every school day. This meal makes a huge difference in her family that eat usually one time a day. The family of seven depends only on the work of 50 year old Cristobal Gómez, her father.
Home and Family
María Ana’s family home was destroyed in a recent accident, and her family is living in a temporary space—a small wooden hut—until they can get it fixed. It’s been hard living without a permanent place to call home. Everyone sleeps on the floor, and during the rainy season the roof often leaks. María Ana is hopeful her family will have a new house soon.
“I want to keep studying so I can help my family succeed,” she says.
To help make the dream a reality, María Ana works hard in school—and CRS provides school lunches to ensure she can focus on her studies and not on her hunger. María Ana also works in her community to earn money to support her family. At home, she helps with chores, like washing the school uniforms, helping to prepare the family meal, and fetching and boiling water to make it drinkable.
The Joy of Learning
María Ana begins each morning by thanking God for a new day. After saying her prayers and taking a bath, she helps her mother make tortillas before she puts on her uniform and walks to school with her two younger brothers.
“I feel happy when I’m studying,” says María Ana, whose favorite subjects are math, science and physical education. In school, María Ana also learns about ways she and her family can stay healthy, including washing fruits and vegetables before eating them. And, María Ana is able to bring some of that nutritious food home with her, thanks to the CRS school lunch program.
María Ana is especially grateful to her father, Don Cristobal, for working hard to send her to school. “My father works every day to support us, to provide the food that we need and to earn money to pay for school.”
Dreams for the Future
María Ana also wants to help people; she wants to be a nurse. To do this, she will need more education and training beyond the opportunities available in her community.
She’s already preparing. Several times a week, she travels two hours to the nearest city where she earns money cleaning homes. She is also very careful to save money and spend it only on what’s necessary.
María Ana feels called to help people be healthy, especially the children she sees in her community who suffer from malnutrition and lack of proper hygiene.
“I want to make my family proud,” she says. “And I want to help my family move forward.”
Makes 4 servings
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 small yellow onion, quartered
- 1 32oz. can (or 2 16oz. cans) red kidney beans
- 8oz. sour cream
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ tsp. salt and more to taste
- 8 small flour tortillas, warmed
- 2 cups crumbled white cheese (queso duro, cotija or feta)
Rinse the kidney beans and then blend them with a bit of water until creamy. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, flipping occasionally, until onion is lightly browned, and oil absorbs flavor from onion, about 5-7 minutes; discard onion, retaining oil in pan. Add beans to skillet with oil. Cook, stirring often, until oil is absorbed, and beans are heated through, about 3 minutes; season with salt to taste. Remove beans from heat and keep warm. In medium bowl, stir together sour cream, heavy cream and ¼ tsp. salt; set aside. To assemble, spread a thin layer of refried beans onto warm tortillas; drizzle with sour cream mixture, sprinkle with cheese and top with desired garnishes and then fold in half. Serve immediately.
Materials are gathered from Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl: https://www.crsricebowl.org.