Becoming Mamacita: Letters from Guatemala

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9781456515331: Becoming Mamacita: Letters from Guatemala
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In 2003, social worker Lori Richardson purchased a one-way ticket to Guatemala. She planned to fulfill her lifelong dream to provide volunteer service throughout Central America. While in a Guatemalan orphanage, her plans changed when she met Ana, a child with a zestful smile, stifled by chronic illness and a mysterious secret. When the free-spirited traveler tried to adopt the girl she had grown to love as a daughter, she encountered a resistant, dark force that refused the child’s freedom. Tiny Ana made an enormous impact on Lori and she vowed to overcome the obstacles that endangered both their lives. Becoming Mamacita chronicles this miraculous journey and places the reader beside Lori as she corresponds with family and friends concerning her triumphs and struggles in Guatemala. Through mango-scented breezes, soft Mayan textiles, steamy waterfalls and chaotic chicken bus rides around winding cliffs, Ana discovers life is more than oppression; Lori learns it is more than restless freedom. During this three-year odyssey, Lori becomes a Mamacita, a Guatemalan mommy—until an unforeseen event separates mother and child. It is only through the culturally rich experiences and the fierce trials of living in Guatemala that they both find what they are searching for.

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About the Author:

Volunteering in international orphanages has helped me gain experience as both a presenter and program developer in the areas of social work and adoption. Professionally, I started this work as a young college graduate when I presented my research findings, “Effects of Homelessness in Children,” at the Georgia Sociological Association. This began my career as a licensed clinical social worker. While living in Guatemala I began writing to family and friends. Becoming Mamacita is a collection of these messages woven together with journal entries.

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