Meet La Bastilla's Students: Juana Rosa Gutierrez

Juanita Rosa Gutierrez, one of La Bastilla’s prominent students has definitely made the most of her two year experience thus far. She is the perfect example of a promising adolescent in Nicaragua who takes advantage of future-benefitting programs and understands the importance of the educational and leadership opportunities available. Having almost completed another year at the technical school, she has overcome many obstacles by continuing to live by her own high standards.

Being raised in a nearby rural community where there is little opportunity to learn new and unfamiliar skills, Juanita didn’t always know she was going to continue to study. Her parents are nurturing and protective, and wanted their youngest to follow the same path as her eight older siblings, which was to work or start a family nearby. It wasn’t until Don Martin, the Director of the La Bastilla programme came to promote the vision, values, and goals of the college that she decided to continue her education. Understanding that this was her only opportunity to have a uniquely customized training, she exceeded her comfort zone knowing that it would only benefit her future. Since her enrolment, Juanita has not had a single regret.

She is about to complete her second year at the school with many new experiences under her belt. Apart from sharing a bedroom with about twenty other girls, there have been many difficult situations that took time and energy to get used to. Through her own efforts, she became assistant monitor of the bakery during her first year, advanced to head monitor the following year, and has now become head monitor of the dairy plant. All her efforts are rewarding, for despite the many frustrations that come with this responsibility, she is deeply motivated to persist through them for the good of her future.


Juanita recognizes the clear differences between her first and second year. She enjoys the material she is learning in class, finds personal fulfillment in her leadership positions, and has a better idea of how these new practical skills will benefit her and guide her into a job or possibly into a business of her own. The students and staff also recognize and appreciate her natural ability to lead and her successful efforts to maintain and organize her area of responsibility.  She also is able to proudly return home and put her new found skills to use on her father’s farm.

With all her specialized training, Juanita hopes to work within her two favorite areas of interest in the near future; working on a coffee farm as a tour guide and cupper is appealing to her, as well as working in the dairy related field to increase her knowledge on regulations and health standards in the industry. She sees herself eventually having her own business to consult and train others in how to maintain a clean and hygienic dairy business. Spreading the knowledge she has obtained is the main objective for her to have a gratifying educational career.

One idea she takes away from all she has gained is to never give up and to continue to persevere, even when there are hindrances, because all will prosper. Her exact words were, “Persistir siempre, resistir jamás”. Despite all the difficulties and energy required, she still insists on moving forward for the sake of her future. While some choose to be defeated by hard work, Juanita’s personal development is focused on making the most of life, because positivity will reciprocate. 

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