In March of 2012, I had the honor of visiting Xela, Guatemala for a week of volunteering and learning Spanish. Little did I know I’d be there on International Women’s Day, a day celebrated around the world honoring women. After class, I spent the afternoon at the center of town watching the beautiful event unfold.
The entire town was involved in a grand celebration and a huge, colorful parade honoring women and advocating for women’s rights. In a country in which domestic violence against women is a significant, unspoken problem, it was wonderful to witness so many people coming together to share their voice and fight for women’s rights.
One attendee in particular captured my attention. This little girl roughly the same age as my own daughter enjoying an ice cream cone. She met my eyes and smiled at me. Her smile was beautiful, sweet and filled with happiness while mine was beaming with hope. Hope for a better future for this little girl and all the women and girls in Guatemala and around the world. I hope her smile continues to grow.