Blanca walks two hours (one way) from her home in Tecpá®¬ Guatemala, to Chivarabal, the small community where she is principal of the elementary school.
"I did a research project at the university on how to set up a school," says 24-year-old Blanca Tucubal. "Now I can do it in real life!" Soon to graduate from San Carlos University and Compassion's Leadership Development Program in Guatemala, Blanca's goal is to establish a secondary school in the poor rural community of Chivarabal.
An education major, Blanca is already putting her leadership skills to work by serving as principal of the elementary school in Chivarabal. Community leaders credit Blanca with getting more children than ever to attend school. However, Blanca is not stopping there. The nearest secondary school is a two-hour walk from Chivarabal. Consequently, even those who complete elementary school usually do not go on. Blanca plans to change that.
A Desire to Give Back
Having been given so much throughout her life, Blanca is excited now to be in a position to give to others. One special blessing she recalls from her early years as a Compassion-sponsored child happened when she was in sixth grade. She relates, "My sponsors sent me a special monetary gift and, for the first time in my life, I was taken to a store where I could choose anything I wanted. I felt like a princess."
What Blanca wanted was a pair of shoes that she'd seen in a store but knew her family couldn't afford. "I have a picture of myself wearing those shoes," Blanca says. "Even now, whenever I see that picture, it moves me with thankfulness."
Gifts From Above
The eldest in a family of seven girls, Blanca received an even more important gift at her Compassion project the gift of learning about God's great love for her. Accepting Christ at age 13, Blanca says one of her favorite Bible stories is of Jesus walking on the water. "I thought about that story the day I took the national exam to graduate from high school and qualify for college. It's a tough test but I had confidence God was going to hold me up."
Blanca passed the test and on the day she graduated from high school, she received yet another incredible gift acceptance into Compassion's Leadership Development Program. Now on the threshold of graduation from university, Blanca, expressing her appreciation to Compassion and the LDP, says, "Compassion is a door that has been opened to me and my family and, as a plus, the Leadership Development Program has raised my vision of God's purpose for my life."