Friday, Oct. 16, 2009 | Dr. Anita Figueredo can’t remember why she said she wanted to be a doctor, but her conviction as a 5-year-old was enough for her mother to move them from Costa Rica to the United States for American schooling.
“I’d never had an alternative. That’s what I wanted to be and I never changed my mind,” Figueredo said.
Now 93 years old, Figueredo can look back on a busy life. She was the first female surgeon in San Diego, the mother of nine children and had a decades-long friendship with Mother Teresa.
In May, her daughter, Dr. Sarita Eastman, published a book on her mother’s legacy, “A Trail of Light: The Very Full Life of Dr. Anita Figueredo,” which is being translated into Spanish in Figueredo’s native Costa Rica.
Figueredo, Eastman and I spoke about traveling to Costa Rica, discovering family history and her friendship with Mother Teresa.
How did you decide to make such a big move from Costa Rica to the U.S.?