CFCA stories

El Salvador scholar takes pride in hard work

November 29, 2010

Cesar, the son of Santiago and Estela, helps with his
father’s ice cream and snow cone business. He is a
CFCA scholar and plans to study accounting and English.

Cesar, a CFCA scholar in El Salvador, is no stranger to setting and achieving goals. In 2009, before he started high school, he decided to start saving to buy a computer.

“I knew I was going to spend lots of money at the Internet cafes researching for homework,” the 19-year-old said.

Internet cafes in his El Salvador neighborhood cost 50 cents to $1 an hour. He decided it would be more economical to buy his own computer.

Cesar earned the money selling ice cream on the street on weekends and holidays when school was out. He learned to sell from his father, Santiago, who has been selling ice cream and snow cones most of his life.

Little by little, the savings added up. A year later, Cesar had enough for a computer. His father went with him to buy the machine.

Cesar’s mother, Estela, monitors its use.

“I am watching to see what he’s doing and he shows me different places in the country, like Coatepeque Lake,” Estela said. “At times I find him at midnight doing his homework.”

Cesar plans to study accounting and English.

Cesar dishes up a cone to a willing customer.

“It is hard to find a job in this country and I feel that as an accountant, there is always a way to make some income,” Cesar said.

As a scholar student, Cesar performs service hours for the CFCA office. He enjoys spending time with the sponsored children.

“I like being able to teach them the little I know and to instill in them good things, to teach them respect and moral values, to play, and many other things,” he said.

A hard-working person

Cesar credits his father for instilling in him a good work ethic.

“I like working because my father taught me that I must have a way to make a living,” Cesar said. “Otherwise, I won’t be able to eat. I think it’s good because I don’t stay home doing nothing. I am not doing bad things and I keep myself busy and make money.”

His mother taught him to do housework and cook.

“She taught me to wash dishes, wash clothing, etc.,” he said. “This is good for me to know also because I can take care of myself.”

Cesar gives his mother a hug. He learned
to do housework and cook from her

Cesar is motivated to keep studying. The financial support from the CFCA scholarship combines with what he earns selling ice cream to pay for his education — food, bus transportation, books, school supplies, shoes and uniforms. He uses any surplus from his earnings to help his parents buy food.

“I don’t want to stay where I am,” he said. “I don’t want to keep selling on the street because I know what it’s like and it’s hard.”

Cesar’s three siblings are sponsored through CFCA’s Hope for a Family program. Sponsorship has provided the family with educational assistance, clothing, school uniforms, school supplies, beds, recreation and livelihood training.

“Without CFCA, my parents could not cover these needs and I would have to drop out of school and go out and work to help my parents bring up my siblings,” Cesar said. “This is a real impact on my family and on my life.”

In the future, Cesar hopes to start a family, own a home and buy a car.

“I see myself feeling proud of reaching the goals I once proposed to myself,” he said.

Read more about Cesar’s family.

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Education is the greatest hope children living in poverty have for a better life. The Unbound Scholarship Program helps deserving students pursue their educational goals of finishing high school, technical training or university. Not only does it provide assistance with tuition, transportation or books, but it also provides students with much-needed encouragement to complete their education. Learn more »

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