Maria Alejandra: Relentless positivity and a drive for success
You may know Maria Alejandra from the Enlace Project English Class where she has excelled since she began taking classes four years ago. Her English studies have lead to opportunities as an interpreter this past year, both with Enlace Project and with other groups outside of El Sauce. Most recently, she joined Enlace Project’s teaching staff a language instructor and assistant.
"I consider Nicaraguan women to be role models.” Maria Alejandra´s mother was her greatest role model that shaped her positive attitude, work ethic, and independence. When Maria Alejandra was three years old, her parents separated. Like in many cases of separation in Nicaragua, her mother was left alone to raise four children. Her mother taught her to cook, how to clean, and how to take care of herself. Through difficult times of making ends meet, Maria Alejandra never saw her mother cry. Like her mother, Maria Alejandra’s bright smile, warm laughter, and infectious positivity that transform others’ bad moods into good ones.
Her passion for entrepreneurship began when she started to sell fruit in El Sauce as a little girl. Since then, she has sold clothing, shoes, cell phone minutes, and jewelry that she makes by hand. When she finds time in her busy schedule, she loves to travel to Managua to the Oriental Market, which is the biggest market in Central America. She weaves through the busy stalls, searching for deals on merchandise that she then sells in El Sauce. Following this passion, Maria Alejandra is currently pursuing a career in Marketing at UNAN Léon, where she is the president of her class.
At the same time as she started studying marketing, Maria Alejandra enrolled in English classes at
Enlace Project to develop a new skill for future employability. In the past year, she has been as interpreter and
program assistant facilitating intercultural dialogue between local partners and visitors. She also began teaching English in Enlace Project’s first level class where she showed her talent and discovered a new passion. Her time working with Enlace Project has inspired her interest in the social or environmental sectors. In her work, she hopes to use her marketing skills to help persuade people to implement strategies toward healthier and more productive lives. In her English teaching position in Enlace Project, Maria Alejandra helps students develop new study strategies, self-confidence, and other skills to prepare them for future employment opportunities. Above all, she says, “When we improve ourselves intellectually and learn languages, we become more human, better citizens of our country or wherever we travel.”
With her professional experience and upcoming degree, Maria Alejandra looks forward to continuing to use her skills in marketing, entrepreneurship and teaching in her position at Enlace Project and for the rest of her career. She wants to continue to live and work in Nicaragua and provide for the future of her two children.
Maria Alejandra knows a Nicaraguan proverb that says, “Nunca la vida de una persona exitosa fue facil al inicio,” which translates to, “The life of a successful person is never easy in the beginning.” Through difficult times, Maria Alejandra has persevered, worked hard, and found new opportunities with a relentlessly positive attitude. Enlace Project welcomes Maria Alejandra to our classroom where she will inspire many more students to pursue the successes that follow challenging beginnings.