Entries by


Is it odd that strolling into a brothel doesn’t seem strange? Sometimes I wonder. Last week, we couldn’t take our bus to La Terminal, so we went old-school and visited the ladies directly in their places of work. Out of nowhere a very drunk man approached me and asked in broken English, “Lady, what you […]


When is a sheet of paper a miracle? When it’s a Mexican birth certificate; that’s when. Some of you might remember the story, but for those of you who don’t, here’s a quick recap. G is the mother of three adorable little boys. Her oldest, Y, was born in Mexico, eight years ago. Shortly after […]

One Word

Sometimes it takes one word. I’m not sure who was more surprised when I poked my head through the door. She’s been gone for years. I’d heard she was back but I hadn’t seen her since my return from Canada, and I’d pretty much forgotten she was supposed to be here. We’ve known her for […]

Oh Happy Day

“It’s been worth every tear!” You know, when you ask people to talk about their experiences in getting an education, this is a pretty good one. “Worth every tear.” Yesterday we invited one of our qualified nurses and two current nursing students to talk with some of the ladies of La Linea about school and […]

No One

“No one has seen me naked for three years!” That is probably the most beautifully triumphant statement any of our sweet ladies have uttered in recent years. “No one…” That “no one” holds so much unspoken power. It means dignity – the years of unspeakable daily humiliations gone forever. It means healing as tears and […]

Open for Business

The dream was never a building. We are immensely grateful for it; overwhelmed, actually. But it was never the dream. It was a desire, certainly. And a need. My goodness, we grew out of the first La Puerta very quickly. But a space is just a space, and we’ve become pretty good at making things […]

The One Who Got Away

I love this photo. And yes, I realize that for you it is entirely useless since you can’t see the faces. But I can. I know those faces, and I love them. Two of them are dead. Both were murdered in acts of unspeakable brutality, and they represent just a tiny number of those who […]

The Boy Who Doesn’t Exist

Y is about to turn eight years old. He’s never been to school, hasn’t had a single childhood vaccine and would be turned away from any and all public health services here in Guatemala. Why? Well, once upon a time, his mother (one of our sweet ladies) heard that she’d earn more by “working” in […]

Happiest New Year

J is not her real name =) She is one of our recent nursing graduates and a force to be reckoned with.  A few days ago she came charging into La Puerta just bursting with excitement.  She’d been offered a job.  Amazing!  Truly! But, wait…it gets better.  The nursing school was so impressed with her […]


“He asked for a service, but that was just his way to get into my room. “I knew something was wrong as soon as I closed the door. He started to look through my things. He wanted to see if I had money hidden in there. I was afraid of what was happening, but I […]