By Angie García
HiExpat: Thank you so much for your time Angie. In this Mother's Day special for HiExpat Magazine, we want to highlight the Ecuadorian mothers who work hard every day. You are a true example of this and we want to share a bit of your story with our North American expat readers. Since becoming a mother you have been able to combine your work responsibilities with your duties as a mother. But as if that were not enough, you have also been able to continue studying and are currently in the final stages of obtaining a master's degree in public policy. On a professional level, what goals have you set for yourself in the near future and how has your success influenced your son Lucas?
Angie: My son has been my greatest motivation to continue growing as a human being and as a professional. Being a young mother has been full of emotions. Inexperience can generate insecurities, but at the same time I am full of a lot of energy and desire to continue learning and evolving in my field. I strive to continue educating myself in order to achieve better opportunities and stability. I hope that I can offer my son a better quality of life and be an example for him to keep persevering until he reaches his goals.
HiExpat: Despite being a young mother, you have managed to juggle all your responsibilities quite well. Can you share with us what it was like becoming a mother for the first time? We can only imagine all the emotions and feelings that you experienced when seeing Lucas for the first time.
Angie: My transformation into motherhood was actually quite scary. At 26 weeks I experienced some complications with my pregnancy and my son was born with very little chance of surviving more than a few days. He was extremely premature, only weighing 1.7lbs and was diagnosed with respiratory distress syndrome. He was a very defenseless being, fragile, and exposed to many diseases, but he was full of courage and desire to live. He was hospitalized for 2 months and 5 days in neonatology. This was a fight that we only won by taking it one day at a time. We found strength in being together.
I always ask myself, how is it possible that someone so small has taught me so much? He taught me to love unconditionally. My son is my greatest act of faith and I feel so grateful to God and to life for giving him to me and for allowing me to see him grow. He is now a very happy, active, and intelligent six year old boy.
HiExpat: North American expatriates often choose to move to Ecuador due to the friendliness of its people. As a single mother, what has been your experience in terms of work, academic, and personal opportunities in Ecuadorian society?
Angie: Personally, I can say that I feel quite satisfied living in Ecuador. Despite being a single mother, I have been successful in my professional life and have been given many opportunities. These opportunities have allowed me to continue learning and growing as a person and mother.
HiExpat: Among our readers we have many women who wonder what it is like to live in Ecuador with their children. Many parents choose Ecuador to give their children the opportunity to learn new cultures and a new language. How do you view the educational system in Ecuador for Lucas? What do you think about how it has developed over the years? Just a few days ago, face-to-face classes began again in Ecuador after two years of the pandemic.
Angie: After having overcome the pandemic, the educational system in Ecuador is in a stage of recovery. I believe that with this recovery the system will be able to strengthen its capacity and potential in order to allow for students' success.
HiExpat: Finally, can you give us a message for parents with children of a similar age to Lucas who are considering Ecuador as their destination to live?
Angie: As parents consider making the move to Ecuador they should never consider their children as an obstacle. If anything, children are all the more reason to make the move in order to expose them to language, culture, good principles, and values for their future.