From Benedicta to Pope Benedict, with love

 In Stories

“My family works together, we are a chain. I am the pillar of my family, the woman in my home is the most important element, in a community where man is the traditional head of the household.”

When I get up at five in the morning, I say “Dear God, I am getting up by your great power that you are giving us at this time and this morning, here I give you these eyes, hands, everything that I have is not mine, it´s yours. I am nothing, it is all yours, now help me and bless me nothing more than today, not in the evening or tomorrow, only today.” My grandmother taught me ten or 15 dishes and today I have added more meals, more stews, more atápakuas, and everything is God, because he never leaves me. He has never let me go without food, I have corn, cilantro, mint, my tomatoes, and from there I do my dishes.

It was thanks to Roberto that I was invited to the Vatican to cook. When I met Roberto, Roberto told Cynthia: “Are you ready for the Vatican?” And you’re taking Benedicta … I thought who knows where the Vatican is, but then Cynthia said yes, I’m taking Benedicta. Thank God he thought of Roberto and thank god he had me in mind.

There I was sitting in an office of the Pope in the Vatican, I was with my daughter Elvira, when some men arrived with helmets and a swords. They grabbed me, one on each side, and I thought “who knows where they are taking me”. Elvira was crying because she wanted to go with me. But they only led me to go up there to greet the pope with Roberto. Roberto said to the Pope “she’s your namesake, also called Benedicta”.

I am a brave Purepecha woman who is moving forward, thanks to God who gives me strength to move forward with my children, doing what I love from my heart.

Benedicta Alejo Vargas, Mexico

Find more stories in Tourism Stories (Volume I) & Tourism Stories (Volume II)

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