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Gender and Social Inclusion

Girl Refugees — From The Hands of Smugglers to Community Leaders

“To get into the United States, I swam across the river in south Texas, in the middle of the night in my underwear, carrying a plastic bag filled with dry clothes.” This was the beginning of  Olga Cantarero’s harrowing journey from Nicaragua to the United States — fearing for her life at the hands of her smugglers. Olga’s story is filled with tragedies and triumphs.

When Olga was 19, her work as a volunteer for the Red Cross was seen as subversive and, with her life at risk, she was forced to flee her native Nicaragua. She endured a dangerous journey through Mexico across the border to Texas – she  walked throughout the night with no food or water, passing the bodies of women and children who had died on their journeys to freedom. She now works with immigrant and asylum-seeking girls in Texas, girls ages 13-17 who faced persecution in their home countries or suffered similar traumas during their own difficult journeys to the United States.

Read the entire blog on the Forbes.com website.

Gender and Social Inclusion