Spirited and Joyful
Self-Description - Hardworking
Her Inner Light - laughter
Her message to women everywhere - “Women are fighters. Life comes right at us, but we keep fighting, always with hope we can come out ahead."
Carmen has been cleaning other people’s houses for over two decades. Grime, clutter, dust and stain may be determined, but they are no match for Carmen. She comes with her stack of white towels, her baking soda and vinegar, and her used toothbrushes. She gets into every crevice, pane and surface. She climbs high and she gets down low. Her spirit comes through the perspiration upon her forehead and the silence that accentuates her every squeak and scrub. When she is through, even the stillness of a home is brighter. She cleans houses with the spirit we pray for in a surgeon operating on a loved one. The spirit of a pilot flying a craft carrying families.
With each scrub and drop of sweat, Carmen has built a life for herself in America and sustained the lives of family she left behind in Mexico. How could a mother bear to go to a foreign country leaving three young children behind, not knowing when she’d see them again? “What a horrible, unforgivable thing it was to do,” Carmen says. "But I could either have stayed to mother them or I could have left to feed them. I chose to feed them.” She made that decision over twenty-seven years ago, but the pain is ever fresh, evident in her tears and voice. “The thing I’m most proud of in the whole world is my children. They have grown to be good people.” And Carmen has made that possible.