Ingrid Sanchez: Balancing Life as a Custodian and Minister




Ingrid Sanchez, day custodian at Andover, walked across the Arizona desert to arrive in the United States when she was 18 years old. Sanchez grew up in Guatemala, but came to the United States after hearing her friends’ stories of a better life. She now lives here with her husband and two daughters, and has worked at Andover for about 22 years.

“[Andover is] a good place to work. It’s a nice community [with] good people. I love to be with the students. It’s very nice. It’s friendly. In Double Brick, I hear all the girls laugh. It is so cute,” said Sanchez.

Everyday, Sanchez travels all over campus, cleaning a total of nine dorms, including Morton House, America House, and Paul Revere House. Sanchez can often be found sharing stories with the residents of Double Brick, according to Erin Vasquez ’19, a prefect in the dorm.

Vasquez said, “She’s just a wonderful, happy person to be around. She has an amazing presence. She’s always there in the common room taking her lunch break, and she always wants to have conversations with me.”

“When I came to the United States, I crossed the border walking the desert. I come all the way from Guatemala to Mexico and crossed the border to the Arizona desert. We made [it] through,” said Sanchez.

Sanchez wakes up at 5:20 a.m. to pray and spend time in devotion. She says Catholicism plays a huge part in her life, so daily morning prayers are very important to her. She then wakes up her two daughters, ages 10 and 13, and takes them to school. Afterwards, Sanchez arrives at her office in the Office of Physical Plant (OPP), ready for a day of work.

She cleans the bathrooms in each dorm, including washing down the sinks, mopping the floors, refilling bathroom necessities, and sanitizing the stalls. According to Sanchez, she usually listens to music while working so she doesn’t feel lonely.

Outside of her work at Andover, Sanchez and her husband are ministers at the church in Lawrence where they first met. The couple has received an award in recognition of their dedication to the parish. In regards to her faith, Sanchez points to her sister as one of her biggest influences.

“When I came to the United States, after two years, I met my [first] husband… He was an American person. He also worked for [Andover] many years ago, before I met him… He died… and I was by myself. That’s when my sister started telling me that we should go to church. That’s where I came to be a believer, and that’s where I met my [present] husband,” said Sanchez.

Sanchez strives to create a better life for her two daughters.

Sanchez said, “[I want to see them] go to school, get scholarships, and they can have good grades and go to good high schools like [Andover], go to good colleges, to be someone in life.”

Double Brick residents appreciate Sanchez’s presence in the dorm, whether it’s when she stops to share a story with them during her lunch break or when she says hello in the hallways.

Kassie Archambault, Instructor in Russian, Assistant Director of Admission, and a house counselor in Double Brick House, said, “I think she’s always so open to getting to know us in the dorm and us getting to know her, so I love bumping into her in the hallways and just having conversations with her about how she’s doing [and] how her family’s doing. She’s a friendly face that really makes it a bright, warm community for us.”

She continued, “I think [Sanchez plays an important] a role in keeping our dorms safe and healthy places. I hope that we give them enough respect, but I think that they certainly deserve more appreciation than we do.”

Vasquez says that she enjoys her conversations with Ingrid in Double Brick’s laundry room.

Vasquez said, “We’ll be sitting in the laundry room and she’ll [offer] us some of her lunch, and she’s a really sweet person. She’ll be telling us about these service trips she takes with her church to the Dominican Republic or Guatemala. She’ll go and help feed the children or help build schools for them. She always gives back to her community.”

“The community’s nice in here. You feel like a family. Myself, I come here at 7:20 a.m., you’re here the whole day. This is like home. We’re here all day long. It’s very nice to be here,” said Sanchez.

Staff Report | The Phillipian