An Inspiration, a Ghost Hero

By: Melissa A. Padilla Cintrón

Mayra Cintrón Quinoñes is a single mother with several inspirational stories to share, from losing her parents, and her job to losing her. After years of building a family and a stable home, Mayra had to start all over again, but this time in the United States of America.

“A person who wants to succeed has the control to do it”, Mayra said.

Mayra Cintrón, 43, was raised in a safe, caring and humble family composed of six siblings and two loving parents. In her childhood she learned courage, education and ambition. She married, had two children, Melissa, 19, and Kenneth, 10, and graduated from college. Mayra’s vision was to work to acquire a house, form a lovely family, come a great mother and wife. After all her hard work and time dedicated to her dream, she never thought it all was going to change.

Being a housewife was a tough decision for her because she loved her work at the United State Postal Services (USPS). As a housewife, she gave all the attention to her spouse, children and took care of her mother. She went to her children’s extrarricular activities, cooked for them, and pampered them. After divorcing on 2006, she said everything changed completely.

Mayra started working as a secretary with minimum salary; she could not afford the house, car and school. Mayra made decisions as: gave the car away, changed Melissa to another school and paid less rent in a house. She worked as a secretary for two years, and later on she was hired as a mail carrier in USPS with a reasonable salary. “Now, I don’t take off my tennis for some high heels,” she said laughing.

After seven years, they cut employees at her job, and she was one of them. Mayra was devastated, she did not know what to do but she did not give up. She looked on the bright side, stayed at home; spent time with her kids and started looking for jobs everywhere.

On June 2013 she was called from Tampa USPS office for an interview and she was hired. That year, Melissa was entering college and decided to stay in Puerto Rico. “I was not ready to let her go, but it was her choice”, Mayra said. On August Mayra moved with Kenneth to Florida. “It was not easy, but for the good of my children and me, it had to be done”, she said. “I look at it as an adventure full of new opportunities to learn and grow”, optimistically added.

After living in the USA, the single mother appreciates that “Its peaceful, everything looks in order, but I miss my family and even more my daughter,” she said with a broken voice. Work is fine but she had trouble adapting. Her supervisor was treating her poorly because she was Latina. They moved her from post office and now she is in one closer to home. “It is not impossible to adapt,” she said.

Further on Mayra said: “I do not plan to move from here, I am staying for a long time in the USA”. She loves her homeland but understands there is much more to see, learn and for Kenneth there is a better education and opportunities for a future.

Mayra describes herself as a successful independent woman, full of faith, wanting to live and learn more. “I want my children to learn from my decisions, see me as a strong, valuable and a child of God woman.”

Every time she wants to quit, she thinks of her mother’s words, “Mayra, I am not dying tomorrow, this cancer if for long; we just have to live with it and continue enjoying life.”

Mayra’s coworker for five years Alex Virella said he was shocked at first seeing a lady mail carrier work as Mayra does, he feels inferior around her but she is a great employee, dedicated to her job and her children. Her ex-coworker in Puerto Rico, Curet, said she is an excellent employee, always smiling, helping others and a hard worker. If Mayra seemed sad, they all worried and help her. “Mayra is like a daughter,” said her ex-supervisor from Puerto Rico. Many of her coworkers see Mayra as an inspiration.

Mayra advice for everyone: “For success you have to know what you want in life without affecting others. It is fine to look for help, there are many resources. Is not easy, but it can be done.”

Mayra’s goals changed completely. Now, she is working for a stable house for her and her children. “If everything goes right, by the end of this year we will be celebrating in it,” she said. She hopes for a new beginning and a great future. “All I want is my kids to have a home and be fine,” Mayra added.

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From left to right: Melissa A. Padilla Cintrón, Mayra’s daughter; Kenneth L. Padilla Cintrón, her son and Mayra. They were going to Kenneth’s birthday on a park of Kenneth’s preference. “Family is very important, I love my children and I am proud of who they are becoming,” Mayra said.

Mayra in her post office job in Tampa, Fl. Showing strength and letting people know she is doing fine. She is always with a smile in her face.

Mayra in her post office job in Tampa, Fl. Showing strength and letting people know she is doing fine. She is always with a smile in her face.

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