ATEC - Episode 26: What Motherhood Can Mean ft. Jan Capps

Episode 26: What Motherhood Can Mean with Jan Capps

As a young woman, Jan Capps rejected the evangelical church in which she was raised and found refuge from her deteriorating family life by working with immigrant farmworkers and farmworker women to help them create more just and equitable lives in the US.



Committed to pursuing a career in public health, Jan moved to Guatemala to work as a community organizer for a health program so she could better understand the poverty and inequity for so many living in Central America. Upon her return to the US, she met a man that she thought shared her vision and commitment, with whom she had a child and married.  After a decade of planning with her husband to realize what she thought was a joint dream — to embark on a great adventure to move to Latin America with their daughter — and just three months before they were set to leave, her husband backed out of the trip. Within weeks he backed out of the marriage.

Jan eventually decided to continue the journey without him and took a position as a clinic administrator for a small non-project organization in rural Guatemala and moved with her daughter to a Maya village for a year. As a single mother, working full time as an immigrant in a poor country, she was faced with the consequences of her commitment, the paradox of privilege when trying to blend in, and what it means to have dreams change.



I’m a writer, a teacher, a native New Yorker, and I love hearing about people’s lives. When I think back to my elementary school days at PS 20 in Flushing, Queens whenever we began social studies or a history lesson I wasn’t that interested in learning about battles, topography, or politics. What I wanted to know was how people lived: What their families were like, how they adapted to their circumstances, what they ate, how they celebrated, how they felt.
Sociology became my major at Binghamton University and in my life so far I’ve been an actress, a salesperson, a Zoo Keeper’s Aid, a volunteer animal trainer, an ELL teacher, a mother, and a wife. I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had, all of which led me to create this podcast which is one of the most rewarding projects I’ve undertaken. I couldn’t ask for a better job than having in-depth conversations with survivors, thought leaders, authors, social justice warriors, and people who believe that we are all connected and then getting to share their stories, insight, and vulnerability with listeners.
I’m so glad you’ve landed on this page. I hope you find stories here which resonate with you and that you’ll tune in every week. 
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ATEC (Episode 10) (ATEC Pin 3)