Photography by Denise Beckwith

“When I was 11 Years old I was coming out of school at the end of the day. As I started to cross the street a woman crossed the street at the same time. The shooters followed the woman and shot her. The gun shot hit me too and travelled up through my body causing me to now have Quadriplegia.

When I was first injured I couldn’t move anything at all but gradually over time with the help of therapy I have been able to move my head. I have also use of one arm and some movement in the other arm. I am now twenty and have since finished high-school and now I’m at University. I was no longer able to go out and play with friends. I feel I have adapted pretty well with a lot of support from family and friends to my new life and to do what I could with what I have.

I work on a radio show called “collage” once a week. It covers topics such as weekly news, advances in science, interesting places in Guatemala, I interview people like theatre directors, innovators and sometimes people from outside Guatemala. It has helped me a lot to come out of myself and not dwell on the situation. It’s also very relevant to my study’s which is communications. I plan to finish my studies, hopefully write a book and speak at conferences. I want to be a journalist and to do some travelling.

I believe we should do our best, make the effort and find a way to keep going. There is hope for all women like me who have a disability as a result of violence. We just have to keep calm and find a way.”

 – Andrea, Guatemala 2017