Women and remittances
The Associated Press has a recent article about women who emigrate to find work and send money to their home country to support family members. The story featured a Salvadoran immigrant living in San Francisco:
Every two weeks, Margarita Gutierrez takes the money saved from her $7-an-hour job washing cars and sends it to her two children in El Salvador, even though her husband frets over the cost of living in their adopted home.
"As a mother, I thought first, second and last about the children, and I sent them everything I had," said Gutierrez, 45, who lives in San Francisco.
A recent United Nations Population Fund report shows that Gutierrez is not alone. Although female immigrants generally earn less than men, they tend to send home a larger portion of their earnings, playing an important role in poverty reduction and development in their countries of origin and upending many traditional mores....
Every time she calls home, Gutierrez, 45, hears about the results of her work washing over 20 cars an hour and cleaning houses on the side.
Reviewing her children's homework on the phone, going over their multiplication tables and encouraging them during the eight years she's been away from them, she's helped her son, who was 10 when she left, graduate from high school, and her daughter, who was 15, finish law school.
Her money has kept them fed, clothed, and focused on their studies - her goal when she left her hometown of Usulutan, El Salvador.
There have been days when she had to eat at soup kitchens and live in shared quarters, but she didn't mind.
"At least I had the satisfaction of knowing my daughter was going to the university," she said.