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As a young girl growing up in Merida, Maria faced tragedy and hardship. As a young woman she endured abuse by her ex-husband. Maria found the courage to break free from her abuser and build a good life as a single parent with two small children. Maria's life changed when she met a young American medical ex-change student from Iowa while she worked as a secretary for the medical residency program at a Hospital in Merida. Maria and her two small children came to America with a fiancé visa in order to marry Dr. Rundquist. Maria and her two children are naturalized citizens and they hold dual citizenship. She is proud to be an American yet part of her heart belongs to her native country, as well. Maria has actively assimilated into the communities where she raised her four children. She advocates for women, children and the environment. Maria wants to inspire women to face challenges in their own lives by getting involved in their children's activities as well as volunteering in their communities.