“I have just returned from Mexico, the latest stop on my Girl Power Trip. This was my first time in Latin America and I wanted to learn as much as possible. I invited girls from across the region to share a meal — and share their stories — with me.
Sydney is a 15 year-old indigenous girl from Oaxaca, Mexico. She told me about problems like early marriage, poverty and machismo culture that keep her friends from going to school.
When Sydney’s grandfather said her role was to cook and clean, she convinced him of the value of going to school. Her grandmother married at 15 and never learned to read or write, so Sydney is determined to make the women in her family proud and complete her education.
But in her community many people believe that girls aren’t capable of learning and should marry as early as possible. In Latin America, poverty and restrictive gender roles keep too many girls out of school. Almost half of all girls in Mexico won’t graduate from secondary school.
Sydney’s town does not have a pediatrician and she would like to be the first doctor to serve local children. I know she can do it — with our support”.