I remember being so angry and confused. I did not get the job. It was ok because I got a better one.
Now 40 years later I hear a similar phrase told to Vilma to justify denying a 3 week visa. They anticipate that she will stay in the US because she is "a young unmarried woman who does not own land." To our government this means she will stay in the US illegally. I know the situations are not the same but in both a young woman is denied because she is a young woman.
Vilma is a 27 year old who is totally committed to her country and her family.
She has a good job. She just wants to go visit. And it's not to our country's benefit to say no to her.
Vilma - through GRACE - and her own professional work and personal life is working with women in Guatemala to help then STAY in Guatemala.
Joyce (Genelle's cousin who lives now in Minnesota)has been helping Vilma and her family for years. During the year Joyce collects things from the US and sends down gigantic boxes to help the extended family have shoes to wear and school supplies. Each year Joyce comes to Guatemala when GRACE is here to work and to see Vilma and her family and Rita and her family (see previous post with pictures of Pamela and Manual.) Joyce, Vilma and family, Rita and family have become a big family extending across the borders of our countries.
Vilma just wants to visit.
Every time they go to the consulate to apply for a visa the US government charges them $160. With the transportation and taking a day off from work it costs $400 which Joyce pays.
This is Vilma and Joyce after they received their 3rd rejection.
I have watched her study and learn with Genelle in Facilitator trainings, I have watched her teach,I have seen her meet new people and new situations, I have experienced her manage a group of over 50 teachers many of whom were older, more experienced and in senior positions. I have spent a late night sitting at a table with this computer looking through each others facebook pages - laughing when we had no common words.
She should, as should every person regardless of sex, age, status or country, be encouraged in every way possible to expand her experience and to use her talents.
Do you know someone who can help get a different visa ruling in the consulate in Guatemala City?
How about John Kerry?