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Remembering Anastayja…

Remembering Anastayja…
June 07
17:14 2019

At 19, most people are still in school, either about to graduate from sixth form, or just enrolled in tertiary-level education. But for Anastayja (Ana) Villanueva, a fourth form graduate who passed 13 CXCs and was her class valedictorian, she will have no chance of anything, not furthering her education, or continuing in the work force, or getting married and having children of her own because her life was snuffed out on Sunday, May 12th, allegedly by another woman a year older.
Linked News Article

Although she was only 19 at the time of her untimely death, Ana’s life was already quite a story. From childhood she was a constant victim of bullying, her older sister, Keisha Villanueva shared with the Reporter.

Originally from Corozal Town, the young Ana discovered that she would soon be envied by many of her peers and that envy often times escalates to bullying.

“Ana would sometimes get bullied because she has always been a very intelligent child and people would be jealous of her, but she usually tried to ignore them or she’d walk away,” Keisha recollected emotionally.

Ana, like everyone else, had her share of challenges when she became a teenager. She to peer pressure, resulted in her falling to bad influences and eventually being placed in a children’s home in the Belize District. This separated her from her family. That did not stop her from excelling academically. She quickly earned the respect of her peers and teachers at Ladyville Technical High School, for her ability to learn and excel and to do it against all odds and despite being at a disadvantage of not living in a family setting. She graduated valedictorian of the 2017 class, with a commendable performance in her CXC exams.

She also had high ambitions and set high goals, with her dream career being either a lawyer or a nurse, because as her sister remembered, Ana loved to help people. She wanted to put herself in a position to be able to give service to others.

Her economic situation forced Ana to look for employment after high school and upon moving back to Corozal Town, she landed a job as a waitress, but it was a job that she looked forward to going to each day because it gave her a sense of purpose to save towards the goals she wanted to achieve – goals that will never be achieved because one outing that Sunday night in May, not far from her home ended in tragedy when trouble once again sought her out and her life ended tragically.

But this teen who had such a challenging past and promising future also had the personal side that her family and friends miss about her – such as the comical person she was at home, making her favourite meal of pasta/noodles, watching movies with her friends, and caring for pets that must now be wondering why they no longer see her. And she will be missed even more for her singing voice. Singing was her favourite pass time and she entertained the people around her with her voice as often as they asked her to sing. That is how her family would like to remember her now, hoping that she is singing her way safely across that realm of eternal peace.

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