Made in the 956: Abuse survivor creates nonprofit for children with trauma
Trauma at any age can be difficult to deal with, but it can be even more difficult for children.
Maira Carrier experienced trauma as a child, but she took that pain and turned it into action. Now, she’s helping others overcome their pain.
“When I was really young, I experienced sexual harassment and sexual assault from close family members,” Carrier said.
Carrier grew up in Los Fresnos.
"Unfortunately I am first-generation, so my mom came from Mexico and she wasn't very informed of what to do, what was wrong, what wasn't,” Carrier said.
The trauma was passed down.
“She was exposed herself to a lot of trauma as a child, and unfortunately that history of trauma repeated itself,” Carrier said.
But Carrier turned that pain into action. She's the CEO and founder of the non-profit Maya's Love.
"The non-profit provides resources and care packages to children who have been through emotional trauma,” Carrier said. "We also provide resource-filled events where we help the parents and the kids understand certain things, generational trauma for one. The trauma that our culture holds here, predominately in our Mexican community right here in Texas."
Even the sunflower logo came from a darker place and from another story that made national headlines.
"When I was 9 years old, and that abuse happened, I remember clearly wearing those jeans that had a sunflower on it,” Carrier said. "For many, many years, I avoided sunflowers. I didn't even want to see the color yellow."
"When Vanessa Guillen happened, I was leaving the military and it was very close to me because it was very similar to my story when I was in the military, and I saw that she had sunflowers all over her phone, and sunflowers had a big meaning and I was like man, ‘This is something that's telling me it's time,’” Carrier said. “It's time to face everything, it's time to heal.”
"It was a mix of emotions to deal with the military sexual trauma of it, and also remembering all of the childhood trauma that happened but Vanessa gave that sunflower a different meaning for me,” Carrier said.
Aside from her own healing, Carrier is now helping others heal, too.
"We have built our core here in San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley and it's been through the support of small businesses, through support of actual community and everything else,” Carrier said. “Being able to be that person for somebody and feeling that beautiful feeling of giving back. So I think that's going to help change the world, if we just continue to show each other a little of that extra love, a little bit of extra kindness, so I’m hoping for that. That's the ultimate goal."
Maira Carrier: Made in the 956.
For more information on the nonprofit, visit https://mayaslove.org/