QCOSTARICA – At 13 years of age, María Fernanda divides her time between being a full time student and a full time mother to her two month old baby.
Milk is one of her greatest needs, given that she cannot produce breast milk.
“They (the teachers) sometimes give me milk cans, what I need most, diapers and clothing (…) the baby cries day and night, I do my homework while she sleeps. The first thing I do when I get home from school is see the baby,” say María Fernanda.
The father of the baby is not much older than María Fernanda. Only 16 years of age, the boy originally from Nicaragua, left Costa Rica a while back. According to María Fernanda’s aunt, Yamileth Morales, the boy did not learn of pregnancy.
Yamileth describes her niece as a strong mother and a fighter (“luchadora” in Spanish), excellent student, focused on finishing her studies to give her child a good future.
“She says she wants to study accounting, that of counting money. Thank God people help hee, she deserves it. She is a good student, has a nice hand writing, she says she wants to study to provide a better future for her baby, and says she doesn’t need a man to support her,” said the aunt.
According to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) or “Caja”, in 2014 there were 21 births to mothers between 10 and 14 years of age.
In addition, 581 births were recorded to mothers between 15 and 19 years of age.