Ella Romancito

"Having a child has changed my life. I didn't go to college but I did want to go. Now I am just trying to make it in this town without a college degree. But even if you do have a college degree the options are either working at Walmart or working some job on the Plaza. Rent is expensive and the locals can't afford it. Motherhood is hard and I am just trying to get enough sleep. I still feel like I have bouts of postpartum depression and I am just trying to have enough motivation to get out of bed." - Ella Romancito is a young mother living in Taos, New Mexico.


Taos 2-170430"My daughters are 9 and 12 years old. I moved here from Mexico eight months ago so that I can work and send money home to them. I'm a single mother and I can earn more money here.  I'm sad without them but I will stay and work for as long as God allows me to." - Nancy is a single mother from Mexico who works as a waitress in a Mexican Restaurant in New Mexico.

Olinka Foster

Olinka for post"After graduating from the University of New Mexico with a Biology degree,  I applied for a soil science job in Farmington,NM.  I was warned that the man who ran the lab, the Chemist, was difficult to work with. If he approved me, I had the job.  He was a much older man, Danish and wore a pissed off expression. He was a brilliant scientist, and he approved me and went on to teach me how to soil testing by hand rather than with instruments.  We also both loved photography and one day I said, "There's a Diane Arbus show in Los Angeles - I wish I could see it." And he said, "Then go."I said there was no way I could go. I have to work and I didn't want to travel that far alone. He said, "Don't be one of those people that never sees or does anything in your life because you're afraid. Life is short - just go. I'll pay for the train ticket and clear your schedule." I took the train by myself from Farmington to LA, it was a great trip. He was the first person I told that I wanted to go to nursing school. And he told me at one point that he approved me being hired because I was nice to look at. Maybe it was a sexist reason for hiring me, but working for him changed my life." - Olinka Foster is a Clinical Research Associate with Veterans Affairs and a BSN/RN.

Shelly Ratigan

Taos trip 20160015lo “It is much harder to be a man, they are under much more pressure to perform.  Not having all that pressure makes it easier for women to believe in themselves. Women aren’t expected to have accomplishments – it somehow seems to come as a surprise when a woman does have accomplishments, but that is expected of a man.” Shelly is an entrepreneur and the owner of Taos Northside Health and Fitness in Taos, New Mexico. “Women are born with leadership qualities. Some people say that is because women are often mothers. I don’t think that is true. I didn’t become a mother for a long time and I had these skills. It would be wonderful if women could recognize their leadership skills from the beginning.”

Ruth Lemansky

Ruth Lemanskymed “Nursing has been so natural for me because it incorporates so many female characteristics and I get to bring my womanly nature into my work. It makes caring for my patients fun, like I am spending time with a friend and not at work.” Ruth is a single mother and a nurse practitioner at  El Centro Family Health in Embudo, New Mexico.  "I’m allowed to bring my emotions to work, its acceptable. I can coo over my patients but because I am a woman it isn’t seen as creepy.”