Marta Barbarita Bejarano de Goddard was born in 1946 in the town of Santa Barbara, Honduras. She spent most of her adult life in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, where she raised her four daughters and where she worked as a pharmacist in the Instituto Hondureño de Seguridad Social (IHSS). She was an active member of her union in the 80s, using that platform to lead civic and political activities to bring attention to the plight of working families.
In 1990, she left Honduras to seek better economic opportunities for her family in El Norte. She found work in San Marcos, California, as a caregiver for the elderly, and for the next twenty five years caregiving was her profession. Marta has dedicated her entire life to care for others. She continues to be an active community member and leader even at the age of 70.
Nowadays, you will find Marta teaching civics education to community members who want to become naturalized citizens. Every week she travels throughout North San Diego County, from San Marcos to Escondido to Vista, to attend Cultivando Liderazgo classes, which are held in libraries, churches, and schools. She arrives early about an hour before class to review the civics questions and practice English with students, both requirements for naturalization. She does this because she believes that citizenship rights are human rights.
When she is not teaching, she’s knitting (quilts, blankets, scarves, etc.) to help children and wounded veterans in hospitals, and to raise funds to support Centro Universidad Popular.
Her leadership nature, her tireless commitment to educate others, and her civic participation make her an invaluable member of Universidad Popular. She’s not slowing down.