I met Laura in the first “albergue” on the Portuguese Way of Saint James. She lives in in the United States of America, in California, but her origin is Mexican. The way she lived her life makes her a model for WomenEsteem International community and you are just one step away to discover why.

She had her first child when she was 18 and she got pregnant during College. 26 years ago, the US rules were against pregnant women in College and she had to fight the system to complete the last three months of her studies. She succeeded and two years after having her first child, she started studying to become an Ambulance paramedic. Four years later she enrolled into the firefighters school and she was the only women out of the four enrolled who graduated the program.

The current precent of firefighter women in US is 3%, hence why her job makes Laura a model for the women we are promoting in our community.

She is involved in a special program launched by the “The California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee” (Cal-JAC) and dedicated to promote the firefighter career among young women and recruit the ones who have what it takes to be a Hero. Because that’s how the firefighters are seen, and for sure they are the Heroes of our modern days! And when you add a woman in this combination, the message is even more powerful. By nature, the women have the power of creation, of giving birth, and saving other people’s live as a medic or firefighter, makes them even stronger and special.

For our Community, Laura is a true model because she managed to put together her personal life raising up two beautiful boys, Antonio 27 years old and Alfonso 21 years old, being a single mom, fighting the US system while she was pregnant, building up her career as a firefighter, being a daughter and becoming a wife. She is a great mix of all these aspects of her own Self, however she is more than that in the same time. She is a woman walking her own path and discovering new dimensions of herself, aspects she always had but they were quite for 47 years. 

Laura became an important part of my life. I’m watching her walking everyday, getting still (she is such an active person), paying attention to all the details outside and inside her own being, and just be… Here and Now! And she reminds me of myself, of my own journey in understanding my own light and my shadows. But the most important part is that she challenges me everyday to look and think from so many perspectives at certain things to be able to answer her questions. And that’s what I call mutual growth support, the most powerful skill women have!

So, Thank you, Laura, for stepping into my life so unexpectedly and walking side by side one of the most important journeys of our lives. We both think everyone should do the Camino and as Laura said today: “What’s one month? It’s not even a paragraph in the book of your life!”