While planning my daughter’s wedding last year, I was fortunate to meet a wonderful woman. Elizabeth Cornejo is a gifted seamstress in Ventura who shared with us her story during the wedding gown fitting.
Born in a tiny village in Nicaragua, Elizabeth started making clothes out of baby diapers. She had a gift for design and studied with the village seamstress. She would pray and ask why she wasn’t born in Paris or America instead of her impoverished village. Finally, she was hired by Patagonia as a clothing model which brought her to the United States. Now she has a successful alternation and dressmaking business.
We found her on Yelp and everyone referred to her as “Saint Elizabeth”. At first we thought it was because of her amazing sewing skills helping women look their best for special occasions. But it’s so much more…. Elizabeth is a living saint.
She gathers food, medicine, clothing, books, and toys for the children in her village and ships them out at her own cost. Her church helps some, but most of her earnings goes to helping her village. She especially focuses on the young girls, hoping to make a difference in their lives so that they might seek education and make their dreams come true like she did. She feels so fortunate to be able to give back to her village. She’s even building a house in her village so she can bring others with her to help.
When she found out my daughter and I are nurses, Elizabeth hoped we might want to come and help at Casa Materna, the local health clinic for women and children.
After the wedding, I stopped by Elizabeth’s shop to show her pictures of how beautiful Kyra looked in the dress she altered so perfectly. Elizabeth cried and thanked me profusely. She was packing up Christmas presents for the children of her village. She told me how her goal is to help the people who need it the most and having family there helps her identify who really could use support…like the tiny disabled girl who lives in isolation in the mountains above the village.
Elizabeth is truly a Divine Daughter! For the past two years, Divine Daughters Unite has helped fund Elizabeth’s efforts to bring relief to the poorest people in her village.
This year, I joined Elizabeth on her journey home to Nicaragua.