Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | July 13, 2010

My Name is Dulcinea

Undisclosed Location | South Asia | 12 July 2010

One of my favorite characters from the world of literature is Don Quixote de La Mancha, a character born in the fertile imagination of the Spanish writer Cervantes. I especially like the musical adaptation of this powerful story. In the musical version, Don Quixote, known as the knight of the woeful countenance, goes off in search of adventure and encounters a woman named Aldonza who is a prostitute. Don Quixote approaches this woman and respectfully lauds her as “My Lady.” But when Aldonza hears his greeting, she sarcastically responds by saying, “Me a lady? I was born in a ditch by a mother who left me there, naked and cold and too hungry to cry. I never blamed her. I am sure that she left, hoping that I would have the good sense to die. I am no lady. I am only Aldonza.” However, undaunted by her bitter reply, the Man of La Mancha insists, “Your name is not Aldonza. I give you a new name. You are my lady. And I give you the name Dulcinea.” The name Dulcinea is a name that means something sweet and good, essentially everything that Aldonza was not.

Later in the story, the Man of La Mancha again encounters Aldonza immediately after she has been raped in a barn. When Don Quixote approaches and addresses her as “My Lady,” she screams at him, “Don’t call me a lady! Won’t you look at me! I am only a common prostitute reeking with sweat. A thing men use and forget! I am not a lady. I am Aldonza. I am nothing, nothing at all!” And then, as she runs away, the Man of La Mancha calls out to her, “My Lady!” And, after a short pause, he again calls, “My Lady!” And then he calls out the new name he has given her, “Dulcinea!” At the conclusion of the play, when the Man of La Mancha is on his death bed, a beautiful woman approaches and kneels at his bedside. Don Quixote looks at her and asks, “Who are you?” The woman then stands and announces, “My name, sir, is Dulcinea!” Finally, at the conclusion of the story, the woman named Aldonza who was so filled with self-hate becomes Dulcinea, the kind of person that the Man of La Mancha always envisioned she could become.

The story of Aldonza is a story of pain, hope, and transformation. Many of the girls who live at the aftercare home we support understand and share Aldonza’s feelings. They understand what it means to be stripped of their self-esteem and to be clothed in the rags of shame. They know what it is like to service the unwanted advances of brutish men. They weep in the night as they try to make sense of why a family member or neighbor would sell them to a sex trafficker. They ache with the pain of self-loathing and self-condemnation. And, they live with little hope that anyone will ever truly love and care for them because of what they have been through. They are the damaged merchandise of human trafficking — the things men use, cast aside, and forget.

In many ways, the attempt to rescue and to help these young girls rebuild their broken lives seems like a quixotic undertaking. Rescuing these girls is dangerous work. Helping them rebuild their lives is hard work. But, Jesus is all about mending broken lives and making all things new. And that’s exactly what happened today at the aftercare home where our girls are working. Seven of the young residents, each with a story like Aldonza’s, embraced the hope of the gospel and placed their faith in Christ. With God’s help, these girls will move past their pain to a brighter future. And, one day when someone asks, “Who are you?” they will reply with confidence and poise, “My name is Dulcinea. I am a life transformed by the love of God and the kindness of His people.”


  1. 2 Peter 1:3-11 His Divine Power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge and knowledge with self-control and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love…for if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Literally swimming in this passage for you all…those who have escaped corruption of the world and now have everything they need (divine power) for life and life with Him (those who have come to salvation). Also for all team members who chose to be partakers of the divine nature putting on faith, virtue, knowledge of Him, self control, brotherly affection and love…have been effective and fruitful, just like the scriptures promise us, for eternal good.
    Thank you for going for all of us.

  2. Many thanks for blog.

    Praise the Lord that He is mighty to save and change lives. No one is beyond His reach.

    Bless you your support of the refuge and all who take such risks in transforming lives of the girls.

    Our friend Dev runs Hope Home in South Kolkata. Some children born as a result of sex “trade” end up there. Some of these children were baptised earlier this year. Thr first of many the Lord willing.
    I will have the joy of seeing him shortly in the UK so he can enjoy a well earned break.

    Go bless

    Paul & Sarah

  3. Hallelujah!!! Blessed be the Name of the Lord! Can you hear the angels singing? WELL DONE good and faithful servants…..

  4. What a trip these young people have been on. This trip will change their lives and the lives of people they come in contact with because of what they have witnessed. Thanks for sharing these stories with us.

  5. Thanks for the posted, I’m keep reading through all the articles. and trying to learn as much I can.

  6. Hi Pastor O, just wanted to let you know I got an email from George Okena in Kampala and he is safe after the bombings last weekend in Kampala. Thought you would be relieved. I haven’t heard yet from Veronica. I will let you know when I do.
    Tonya LaTorre

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