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That smile in the mirror is mine!

This article was written as a compulsory assignment for the Voices of Our Future Contest

Every morning, I go over my life to remind me why I am this happy. I am on my thirties and I work for RENAPRED, a very unique Mexican organization dedicated to maternal health and disabilities prevention. I hold two graduate degrees from abroad. My former students have done the same; and they have come back to work for their communities. I fought corruption as public official and I have worked for the UN and the OAS. I have danced, laughed, loved and being loved. I have enjoyed the sensuality of being naked and the exciting pleasure of walking under a heavy snow. I have traveled the world just like I have enjoyed the peace of my bed. I have family and friends caring for my safety and well-being. Bearing all these in mind, I think I have strong reasons to be happy.

However, many people think I have a distorted vision of happiness because I have not married or had children yet. They keep telling me: “It has to be something wrong with you, you have to be broken. You will never be a woman until you marry and have children”. Nevertheless, I decided to be happy despite what other people think or expect from me.

Thus, I am not a broken girl; but, I am a Mexican empowered woman. In fact, I am the harvest produced by the cumulative efforts of many generations. My hope is that, my now baby nieces, Ana Sofia, Ana Lia and Ana Ricarda will not be question to whatever or whenever they shall decide to be or believe in. It will not matter whether they decide to be childless scientists or full-time moms. Thus, my vision for the future is we happy women will invade our countries and will finally change our realities for good. My professional and personal efforts will keep supporting, creating and promoting conditions to encourage more women to fulfill their happiness who will eventually have even happier, healthier and more protected babies.

I firmly believe, empowerment and education do not make us less of a woman. They make us better wives, mothers, leaders and human beings. Why not to embrace womanhood from an improved perspective? My personal experience has showed me our lives are not limited by the circumstances we are born into. Betterment is a slow, but achievable process. In my family, it has taken us two generations to fight extreme poverty; we have finally achieved it though.

I do not only wish, but I need to be one of the “Voices of our future”. An alarming number of women, and even girls, are still dying from maternal related causes in the region. And, preventable deficiencies and illnesses that can cause disabilities in newborn are still occurring too. At RENAPRED, my main task is the launching of a continental network for prevention of illnesses and environmental barriers that can cause disabilities in children. The network’s motivation is to guarantee the best available right to health for Latin American children.

In a country where being a journalist is the most dangerous profession; we need more citizen journalists to speak up the truth. Being one of the correspondents will allow me to reach more women in the region; recruit more volunteers; share our knowhow; and, most importantly to create an external influence for our governments. We need to guarantee the access to folic acid to every person in reproductive age; we must guarantee safer pregnancies and natural delivers; we have to breastfeed our babies; and, we must ensure universal accessibility in medical and educative services. These are only few of the reasons why I need to be one of your correspondents. We need more people aware of their rights. The more we are, the better the chances governments will take actions.

Finally, I want to be one of the Voices for the Future because I think I am a good role model for other young people. I aspire to inspire them by reading my journal. I know I am very fortunate because I was born in this part of the world. Nevertheless, what I called happiness is the result of a journey that deserves to be told. Undoubtedly, we need more women fulfilling their happiness and being proud at recognizing the smile in the mirror is hers. Let us be happier human beings!!!

This story was written for World Pulse’s Girls Transform the World Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring girls greater access to education which will transform their lives, their families, and communities. The Girls Transform Campaign elicits insightful content from young women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as women, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
Learn more »



Vweta's picture

So Inspiring

Well done Klaudia.

I find your journal very inspiring - celebrating yourself and your femininity. Your strength and passion shines through every word, sentence, paragraph and the whole article.

Keep doing the good work you are doing and Godspeed.


Our Voices make the WORLD PULSate...

Klaudia Mexico's picture

inspirational women

Dear Vweta:
Thank you very much for your kind words. I think I have been very lucky and supported by truly inspirational women in my life. I am just trying to be the result of their mentoring and guidance.
Please receive a hug from beautiful Mexico

Klaudia González

Vweta's picture


You are fortunate indeed to have had them in your life.

Hug very well received and appreciated.


Our Voices make the WORLD PULSate...

Iryna's picture

An optimist

Dear Klaudia, your optimist and inexhaustibleenergy inspires so much! Wishing you all the best in life and work!

A hug,

Klaudia Mexico's picture


Dear Iryna

thank you very much for your whises and hug!!! may life be kind with both of us to open windows and fly newspapers!!! We have to be very optimistic and full of hopeness, otherwise; we won´t suceed in our life endeavors.


Klaudia González

Sharontina's picture

I am not a broken girl, I am

I am not a broken girl, I am a Mexican empowered woman - Wow such power in that writing. I wish you all the best in achieving your vision.

Much love

Merlin Sharontina

Klaudia Mexico's picture

empowering us!!

Dear Sharontina:

I do appreciate your encouraging words. I have been very blessed to have this life. Of course, I have achieved challenges, but they are diminished compared to the fruits I have harvested. Let´s keep doing great in the name of the less privileged people.

All the best

Klaudia González

Anita Muhanguzi's picture

This is so inspiring

My dear Klaudia this is very inspiring. Your story is very up lifting and indeed you are a happy woman and you need to share your happiness with the people around you. Stay blessed my dear and continue to inspire us with your lovely stories. Stay blessed my dear sister.

Mrs. Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Head of Legal and Advocacy
Centre for Batwa Minorities
Skype: mrs_muhanguzi

Klaudia Mexico's picture

the power of inspiration

Dear Anita!!!

I appreciate your encouraging words. I think being happy is a decision. Of course your environment can defeat your dreams; but we have to be stronger and overcome them.

May life bless us both to keep on speaking for us.
All the best

Klaudia González

Amei's picture

You made my day! this is wonderful!

This is wonderful - I love your belief "I firmly believe, empowerment and education do not make us less of a woman. They make us better wives, mothers, leaders and human beings." I am totally with you. I was thinking of empowerment just a while ago and reflecting, contemplating what it really meant... how does empowerment impact us! why would I say I am empowered? ....

I love the title of your post as well. It amazes me to see how easy it is to smile and also the lack of smiles in the community. I have been reflecting oin smiles when a student mentioned to me "Amei do you ever smile?" Gosh, I cannot believe my ears but I never forgot that. True, I forgot to smile. It took a lot of effort to smile... But now I am with you smiling as I write and I know I am happy and I probably could be the happiest human in the world.. :-)

I am glad I cam across this post today. Klaudia you are blessed and thank you for sharing.

Have a great day!

With love, Amei

Klaudia Mexico's picture

smiling women!!

Dear Amei

While I was growing up I was surrounded by women who didn´t smile. They thought smiling causes you wrinkle and laughing was only reserved for prostitutes. So they almost never smiled. I never knew if they were happy or not. Thus, I promised to myself that I was going to express my happiness whenever I feel like.

We are empowered just by the fact of acknowledging our potential and achieve our happiness. Don’t you think so?
I’m honored you enjoyed my words. I have always liked to share what is inspiring instead of defeating passages of my life. Life hasn´t been easy, but at the end they had made me stronger.

May life bless us both and let’s keep smiling

Klaudia González

yolotl's picture

Una persona admirable.

No puedo desaprovechar la oportunidad de aplaudir el crecimiento profesional pero sobre todo el personal que te han dejado OAS y RENAPRED. Admiro tu empuje y tu pasion por lo que haces y comparto tu punto de vista, no solo se emprende desde el campo laboral sino tambien desde el hogar, educando hijos comprometidos con su entorno. Lo ideal es que todas las mujeres tuvieran la opcion de decidir el enfoque de su vida y poder disfrutar sus pasiones, hay amas de casa que no se sienten plenas, y profesionistas en la misma situacion. Hemos sido mujeres afortunadas con la opcion de decidir el rumbo de nuestras vidas. Estoy muy feliz de saberte en mi camino y de ver la mujer fuerte en que te has convertido

Klaudia Mexico's picture

afortunadas mujeres!!!

Querida amiga!

Me halagan profundamente tus palabras, sobretodo porque vienen de una mujer grande y admirable como tú. A veces me sorprende pensar como hemos logrado transformarnos de esas niñas atlixquenses a las mujeres que somos. Estoy muy orgullosa de nosotras y de como hemos elegido caminos productivos.

La admiración es mutua. No debe ser fácil ser mamá y científica, la verdad me recuerdas mucho a mi mamá siempre preocupándose por una felicidad y plenitud en todos los sentidos para su familia.

Te dejo un abrazo con todo mi amor en el mero corazón

Klaudia González

Stacey Rozen's picture

You are a joy!

An uplifting spirit glows through your journal, Klaudia! You've found your joy - don't let any societal norm make you be someone that's not your truth.


Dear Stacey

I can´t stop thinking of your colorful allegory. I´ve always think of me as fuchsia, bright pink or magenta. That is me, cheerful, happy and different. That´s how i like to be.

I appreciate your encouragement and great words!!!

Klaudia González

Stacey Rozen's picture

Magenta sparkles!

I love the shades of magenta too! You've made me think of a book I read called Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. Have you read it, Klaudia? You should. It says so much about being differently successful. Thanks for chatting and keep smiling.


Klaudia Mexico's picture


No, i haven't read it , i´ll look for it. i rather be the magenta shep, than anything else.

Klaudia González

Stacey Rozen's picture

Let me know your thoughts

Let me know your thoughts once you've read and digested it. No rush. Take care x


Flavia Nyadoi's picture


Hi Klaudia,
You just lifted me up and I enjoyed reading each word you mentioned. And what you do is very admirable.The girls are lucky to have you around them. Indeed "we need more women fulfilling their happiness". I am proud of you too.

Best of luck

Klaudia Mexico's picture

lifting hopes

Dear Flavia:
I´m very glad I gave you a little spark to your day. Hapiness comes in all sizes and forms, we just have to fight for whatever it means to us. Thanks for being proud of me, it's an honor to have found so many women like you.

All the best

Klaudia González

Maria de los Angeles Bañuelos Mejía's picture

Orgullo puro!

Eso es lo que nos inspiras a todas las mujeres del mundo Klaudia...orgullo puro! De ese orgullo que mueve masas, levanta a los frágiles, motiva a los cansados y anima a los que se piensan vencidos. Ciertamente la vida está llena de retos y de obstáculos, pero rodearse de gente como tú, leer palabras tan fuertes y llenas de esperanza y entusiasmo como éstas, realmente impulsan a una a luchar por las niñas, las mujeres, las hermanas, las amigas, las compañeras...todas aquellas que nos necesitan.

Gracias por compartir y por luchar e invitarnos a luchar.

Querida Angéles:

Preciosas palabras. Agradezco enomemente tus comentarios y alientos. Si unas estamos bien, lograremos contagiar a las que no lo están. Aún cuando el concepto de la felicidad no está estandarizado, lo importante es luchar por lo que a cada uno nos haga sentir plenas y felices.
Un fuerte abrazo,

Klaudia González

JoneBosworth's picture

Definitely Not Broken

Dear Klaudia,
You are anything but broken! Thank you for sharing your journey, your energy, committment and immense joy. It isn't easy going against the "norm" and you've done it, inspiring us and no doubt your countrywomen too.

What passion! What love for life! What a great role model!

Huge congratulations on this personal piece. You ARE a voice of the future!

All my best,

Jone M. Bosworth, JD

Dear Jone:

It´s has been really difficult to stand up for myself in a very conservative country. I´ve just decided to keep going with my life. I'm responsible for my own happiness., so I´d better fight for it!!
Your words make me feel much honored. I´m glad I have found such valuable woman like you!
With all my appreciation

Klaudia González

keronga's picture

Klaudia, this is a very

Klaudia, this is a very motivating journal. Women all over the world face the same problem. When I separated with my husband in 1999, many thought I would seek solace in the hands of another man. But no, I had to take my life in my own hands and do with it what I like. "That's why I wrote in pursuit of education". I have a long story to tell. Marriage is honourable and beautiful but it needs serious committment from both individuals. Take your time and leave the rest to God. We always say, God's timing is perfect!
Volunteering and later on working full time with landmine survivors changed my perspective in life. You are doing an honourable job. May God bless you!

Klaudia Mexico's picture

manless women

Dear Keronga!

As you may know to break stereotypes is very hard. They don´t get that is not that you precisely enjoy being manless, it's just you haven´t found the right.

All the best in your life endeavors,

Klaudia González

Lia@WP's picture


Hi, Klaudia

I like your optimism and confidence.
Continue to build more optimism and share it. Continue to be a voice.



Klaudia Mexico's picture

thank you

I appreciate your kind words of encouragement
all the best

Klaudia González

Klaudia Mexico's picture

thank you!!!

I appreciate your kind words of encouragement
all the best

Klaudia González

RosemaryC's picture

Thank you for the joy!

Dear Klaudia:

Your joyfulness shines through all of your words, which sing from the page. I feel so privileged to have met you in cyberspace and to have been able to read your story of achievement, power, and service. You remind me of one of my academic mentors, who always celebrated her feminity by wearing colourful scarves, even as she acted with great power inside the academic world. When they held a celebration of her life at the university, after she died, everyone was given one of those scarves to take home, and I like to think that every time someone wears one of those scarves, they take on a little of that package of power and feminity that was Paz.

Your work is so important, and so powerful - helping make motherhood safe for women. Thank you for doing that, and for helping to save the lives of so many women and children who otherwise would not be with us. Your vision of 'family' is about more than just one family, and it seems to me that you have, in effect, many children that you have brought into the world, even if you did not bear them yourself. And your nieces are blessed to have you as their aunt.

It is clear from your story that you take the 'long view' of life - you see things in terms of the generations before and the generations afterward. Where I lived for many years in Canada, the aboriginal people talk of the importance of being able to see back seven generations and forward seven generations, when one is making decisions for the community. Thank you for your years of service to the world, and for speaking out and being a powerful role model in so many areas.

Best wishes,

Klaudia Mexico's picture

Colorful Klaudia

Dear Rosemary

First, let me tell you I adore Eastern Europe, so I´m glad to meet you too, Second, your words have honored me. Specially the fact I remind you Paz. What a great allegory. You know I´m also very colorful, I like to portray hapiness even with my clothes and accesories.

Indeed my family doesn´t call ony Gonzalez. I try to care about all us beings, humand or not. I like this Huichol say "We've came to shine as the sun and help out others to shine as well" Huichol people are very wise indigenous people.

thanks for your words of encouragement.
All the best

Klaudia González

Sangita Thapa's picture

Stay happy forever!

Dear Klaudia, your article is so inspirational. Finding fulfillment in working for others and staying happy is the best service one could do. And im so glad to know that you have a vision to achieve happiness for other women. Let us be happier, let us be strong!!

Klaudia Mexico's picture

thank you!!!

Dear Sangita:

I truly appreciate your words. Let´s indeed be happier.
All the best

Klaudia González

Klaudia- You posses solid vision. Tremendous action. Indelable spirit. Your voice is audible through your words, echoing with joyous passion.

It is an important thing to ensure the health of the unborn. I have seen many unhealthy neonates in my profession, and know the absolute necessity of both fetal and maternal health. To allow access and provide necessary tools and nutritional support helps to ensure a strong beginning, providing the way for a successful future. I know this is not news to you, but it is good to know you are acting on this important issue.

One more comment- I agree that we are not broken. Someone told me once we just need to scrape off that which prevents our inner self to shine.

Thank you for your voice, and for your participation through this amazing month!

Let us Hope together-
aka: Cali gal


Klaudia Mexico's picture

Shining Women

Dear Michelle

I truly appreciate your kind words. I certainly try to have a solid vision. My niece Ana Lia was twenty days old when my Dad was suggesting Harvard University would be a good choice for her. Why would have he done such thing? I was also a little girl when he asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I replied firmly: “I think I was born to transform the world”. Thenceforward, he took my determination very seriously. It did not matter my age, he thought the sooner I knew my transcendental mission; the better I would come up with a vision to fulfill my destiny. Just like Ana Sofia, Ana Lia and, yet to born in September, Ana Ricarda will do. I feel really blessed to have such parents. Even if they were born in extreme poverty, anything has stopped them from fulfilling their dreams. So, I have no excuses, don´t you think?

Certainly, we all have our own shininess; it's just matter to find the way to make it visible.

Thank you for your volunteering in this great project. This has been a very rewarding and remarkable experience.

All the best,

Klaudia González

amymorros's picture

Keep Smiling

You have led an interesting life and I have no doubt will continue to effectively advocate for change in your country. I really enjoyed your story. It was like a breath of fresh air. I also appreciated the perspective from a single woman who is enjoying life to the fullest. I find that so many people here in the US go around without a smile and seem miserable al the time. In fact, being happy and optimistic is not only healthy but makes one more productive in their work.

Keep it up and good luck.


courtneyo's picture

Let us be happy indeed!

Thank you, Klaudia for sharing your story. Although I am married, I can relate to your story, as I am a woman who has chosen not to have children. It's interesting to hear your perspective, and how you are perceived as a "broken woman". I have also been perceived as such, even with having made the choice long ago to not have children of my own.

How can one determine another's happiness without ever having walked in their shoes?

I applaud you for defining your very own version of happiness, and your willingness to share with others the feeling of empowerment when that happiness is realized.



MARELIGC's picture

You Inspire me...

Klaudia you are a great inspiration for all women... You are a worked and amazing woman,
You are rigth....You can shinning always, doesn't care your birth place or your family, if you want shine.... you are shinnig.... here,there... always....
Congrats and keep going with your work and dreams!!!!

LatiNegra's picture

wow. i am so glad i read

wow. i am so glad i read this. i just got accepted to maternidad la luz, a midwifery school in el paso, texas, where i will be serving mexican and mexican american women in spanish. i have noticed the trend of old-school thinking that not having children or not dedicating yourself to family makes you in some way defective. this is why i want to go into midwifery, so i can empower women to also give birth to themselves not just for their children but because they are still women who have dreams. i applaud your strength and inspiring!

Ynanna Djehuty
Certified Birth Doula and Writer

Potter's picture

Hello, Klaudia!

I LOVE this article! Your happiness is an inspiration and a tonic. I found out today that I will be your editorial mentor in this round of Voices of Our Future. I'm so excited about that. The face in my mirror is also smiling! You were the very first in this applicant group to "friend" me so it seems very fitting that we would be matched as correspondant and editor! You have such an impressive background and we have much in common. I look forward to getting to know you and learning from you. Sadly, I know very little about Mexico unless a vacation in the Yucatan a billion years ago counts. (I don't think it really does.) I've lived and worked in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. For the last three years I've been homebound and World Pulse has become my ticket to the world. Now we can join hands on the World Pulse journey. Your cheerful, beaming, happy face promises that this partnership will be great fun! I can't wait to get started.

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