Sunday 20 June 2021

13 Year Old Divides Her Time Between Being A Full Time Student And Mother

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.

María Fernanda and her baby live in Aguas Zarcas de San Carlos, in Costa Rica’s lowlands.
In sixth grade, María Fernanda gets help from her aunt with whom she has lived with for the last four years and teachers at school. The aunt cares for the baby while María Fernanda is at school, while teachers are understanding of her situation and help out with milk and at times other necessities.

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.

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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.

María Fernanda y su hija María Laura.
María Fernanda and her two month old baby, María Laura. It is no unsual to see her in school with the baby. Her teathers are understanding of the situation and help out with milk and other neccessities.

“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.

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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.


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