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At Faith in Practice, there are many remarkable individuals who embody a tireless work ethic, loving compassion, and infectious energy. Perhaps one who best epitomizes these qualities is team nurse, Ana Garcia.

Fifteen years ago, Ana joined Faith in Practice, inspired by a desire to advocate for women’s health. Ask her colleagues, they’ll tell you she’s an “unbelievable” nurse, a “remarkable woman.” Her life purpose, Ana says, is to protect Guatemalan women from cervical cancer.

Ana is like the wind, blowing in and out of rooms, comforting patients, helping with procedures, screening for cervical cancer.  She is difficult to keep up with – blink and you might miss her. On a mission driven by purpose, she won’t stop for very long. But if you’re lucky and the wind slows to a breeze, you’ll catch a glimpse of a woman who radiates joy like very few do.

Her grace and extraordinary strength are built from years of hardship. Starting at the age of 19 years, Ana gave birth to two sons. Shortly after the arrival of her second child, Ana’s husband up and left for the United States without any explanation. “I wondered if maybe I wasn’t woman enough for him, but in truth he wasn’t man enough for me,” she says resoundingly.

Though deeply saddened, Ana had no time to bemoan her situation. She began to sell cake and tortillas, then sought a wage as a massage therapist. Ana worked seven days a week, juggling the duties of being a single mother with her duties at work, serving her Guatemalan people. She saved as much money as possible so that, one day, she could send her sons through university.

Ana’s investment in her children is now reaping rewards.  The younger son is in the process of becoming a mechanic. The first son graduated from university, and is employed as an engineer.  He is now covering Ana’s studies to be a registered nurse! ¡La fuerza de la familia!

“I am who God wants me to be,” says Ana, eyes sparkling with joy. She has overcome adversity and has done so with a smile that lingers with you well after you part ways. She is blessed to have found her purpose. We are blessed to be in the light of her presence.

-Aodhan Ozawa


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