Hotel Worker, Barista, Multitasker, La Ventana, Mexico
Growing up in a small town in Mexico doesn’t necessarily leave you with many education or career options to choose from. As the main earner of her household, Monica Ruiz León is steadfast in her contribution to a hotel called Casa Verde, in a tourist-friendly La Ventana, Mexico. This small town is blessed with a seasonal wind that attracts kite/wind surfing enthusiasts which makes for one busy winter season for Casa Verde (or Paradise, as Monica calls it). Ms. León has been involved in a hotel industry (and specifically this hotel) for over ten years. She deals with tourists, cleans the rooms, mans the coffee shop while managing to continuously display a professional demeanor and a kind disposition (especially considering that feelings aren’t always reciprocated in a fickle and capricious industry). Monica was nominated for this project by her employer (another WOW Woman) who told me that Ms. Ruiz León’s kindness and work ethic are truly impressive and appreciated.
I was interested to learn more about the person behind that reticence, shyness and a warm bright smile. I am pleased to welcome Ms. Ruiz León into the WOW Woman family. She is a walking example of integrity, grit and perseverance.
My name is Mónica Ruiz León,
2. Where is your hometown?
I'm from the city of La Paz in Baja, California, Mexico.
3. What is your profession/career/title/self-label/designation?
I am currently a general employee at the hotel called Casa Verde, in LA Ventana in Baja, Mexico. Mother of two beautiful girls: Karol and Melissa.
4. What did you study in school?
5. What was the journey like to get where you are (in life and career-wise)? What are some accomplishments you’re most proud of, and what was the turning point to set you on a current path in life?
Although my parents always encouraged me to continue studying so that I could become someone important I didn’t get to finish my education, because I was very young when I met my husband, I was just 15 years old at that time. After working several years as a waitress and a chef my daughter was born and I decided to dedicate my time to her and my husband. After two years of being married, I felt that I needed to start working, my husband was a janitor in a hotel, we both wanted a house, so I started working in a restaurant as a waitress. Currently I feel like I work in this paradise of a place, called Casa Verde. I am working here for 13 years, without any problem.
6. How is your life different from what you pictured at 20?
My life has changed completely. I am a very responsible woman, dedicated to my house, family and work.
My advice to other women: everything they set out to do, they can do it! If every day you put all your effort and dedication into something, you may fall again and again, but you will end up rising higher at the end!
8. Where in the world do you feel “tallest” (i.e. where is your happy place)?
Walking on the beach, makes me happy, to feel that peacefulness that the sea and the beach breeze offer. I like seeing the moon as it goes up and you can see its reflection on the water. It is the most wonderful thing that nature offers us.
9. What extra-curricular activities/hobbies are you most proud of? Why?
Walking to the beach or walking to a creek, up on the mountains is enough for me.
10. What do you want to be when you grow up? Future goals/challenges?
My future goal (and a perfect dream in life) is to travel. My goal is to be a business owner. I want to run a business where I can support low income women, without discriminating against them because of their age, or any disability that they might have.
11. What fears are you still hoping to overcome?
I don’t have any fears yet.
12. Anything you'd do differently, if you had another go at life?
I would go back to school to study and reach my goals.
13. What inspires you and what are you hopeful about?
My daughters are my inspiration, they are my everything. I want them to have a better future, better quality of life, I want them to conclude their studies. I also want them to be able to travel and get to know a better world. I don’t want anything to stop them. They have all my support to grow and be someone bigger in life.
14. What are some ingredients to a good life?
The ingredients to a good life, will always be having a good attitude as a person, to smile when life knocks you down. Sure, anything can happen, but if life defeats you, it won’t last forever. Happiness returns.
15. What is a quality you most love about yourself and why?
My favourite qualities are my smile, the brightness in my eyes, my way of dressing, the love that I put into everything, both at home and work. I am a very simple woman without luxuries or riches; simply happy and grateful to God for my life and my beautiful family.
16. What advice would you give your 14-year-old self?
I would give myself the advice of keeping up with my education.
17. What are you reading now? (what books do you gift most and what are your favourite reads?)
I read in the afternoon “Los Ojos de mi Princesa” (My Princess’s Eyes) written by Mexican author Carlos Cuauhtémoc Sánchez. Also “El Alquimista” (The Alchemist) by Paulo Coelho.
18. Where can others find you/your work (links to websites, blogs, etc.)?
You can find the hotel where I work in La Ventana, Baja California Sur, Mexico. It’s called Casa Verde.