Pascuala came to our library's youth department to share her children's book, My Mom Rocks: Her Chair Rolls. Pascuala's message of disability awareness, education, and inclusion are backed by decades of personal experience and advocacy, and I was immediately drawn to the easy and honest way that she offers these experiences and knowledge. She shares herself so freely with people and seems to shift effortlessly from speaking with adults to story time with children. We would love to have her back to speak at Schaumburg Library!

Amanda Waller

Youth Reference Assistant

Schaumburg Library


Pascuala shared her story during Elgin Community College's LatinX Heritage Month event. Pascuala's captivating speaking style engaged us as she told the story of her life from her upbringing in Mexico to her immigration to Chicago to her educational experiences to her career pursuits to her advocacy efforts during the disability rights movement. I enjoyed hearing about how her mom, husband, and other family members supported her throughout her life. At the end of her presentation, she gave us advice on how best to live our lives--one poignant tip that she gave to us was "Never underestimate the human potential." Those are great words by which to live. I look up to Pascuala as a role model and friend as she gives me an excellent example on how best to blossom into a magnificent rose, just like she is. Her book is a must read, and I highly recommend her as your guest speaker for your next event!

Pietrina Probst

Director of ADA, Student Access & Disability Services

Elgin Community College 

Students, faculty, and staff of Tarrant County College District had the honor of listening to the award-winning author, Pascuala Herrera, read exerts from her memoir Not Always a Valley of Tears. In addition, Mrs. Herrera encourages all attendees to either advocate for themselves or for others that are working towards equity for underserved populations. Regardless of race, gender, socio-economic background, disability, or other social identifiers; choose to live beyond the expectations that are set by the community. Everyone’s life has struggles, some more than others, but Pascuala encourages people to think positively, be persistent and find their purpose. Pascuala was fortunate to have a mother that did the best she could to help Pascuala have a better life in America by having improved medical care and better educational opportunities.  

In turn, Pascuala spent her professional career helping students be better equipped for their college journey. I encourage other colleges and universities to invite Pascuala Herrera to present her insight and life experiences to their student body as well as faculty. 

Kimberly M. Eason, MEd

Coordinator| Student Accessibility Resources 

Tarrant County College

I invited Pascuala to speak to our independent living residents about her life and her determination as I believed her presentation would be inspirational. It was that and more! She is an inspirational woman with a disability, but also just a woman who was determined to succeed at everything that was important to her. Our residents enjoyed her presentation and were inspired by her life story. Pascuala – thank you for coming to speak to the residents at Friendship Village!


Jeannette Magdaleno

Manager of Life Long Learning and Volunteer Services

Friendship Village of Schaumburg | A Friendship Senior Options Community

"Pascuala’s story will move you, motivate you, challenge you, and above all, leave you feeling thankful. Working with her to plan and execute a book talk at our library was easy and enjoyable. We couldn’t have been happier with the way she invested in our patrons, engaging with them on a personal level, the result of which was a high-impact library program. I enthusiastically recommend Pascuala to any library or organization who wants to offer a night of inspiration to their community. On a personal level, she reminded me to see life’s possibilities instead of impossibilities, a perspective that we all need in days like these. 

Matthew Jones

Adult Services Coordinator

Sandwich Public Library

Pascuala presented to a diverse group of student and faculty participants at our college and connected on many levels. Her moving story was not only inspirational on a personal level but also touched on broader themes such as disability, immigration, political activism, and more. After Pascuala’s presentation, several students remarked on their increased interest in writing their own life stories, which was gratifying given their usual reluctance to write. Pascuala made the audience feel comfortable, engaged, and challenged in our own lives. She was a well-prepared and dynamic presenter who I would recommend to colleges and universities looking for an excellent program.

Kathleen Reynolds

Advisor, International Students Club

Associate Professor, ESL/Linguistics  

Award-winning author Pascuala Herrera has a story our community really needs to hear. We are so very grateful she put it in writing in her memoir  "It's Not Always a Valley of Tears," and that she so openly and genuinely shared many more of her inspiring experiences and richly-lived life in our "Latino Voices program series." 

Tina Viglucci

Hispanic Services Director

Gail Borden Public Library

Pascuala gave a wonderful presentation with her whole heart. Those in attendance have given us very high praise for bringing her to our LitFest. She is an inspiration and her enthusiasm for sharing her story is infectious. We would love to have her back again! 

Larissa Distler

Adult Services Librarian

Galena Public Library

Pascuala Herrera is an engaging and natural storyteller. When Pascuala speaks, she makes you feel as if you are catching up with an old friend. Everyone in the audience was touched by her personal journey. For those who haven’t read her book, grab a copy now! What we need now are more diverse voices like Pascuala.

Sofia Carapia

Bensenville Library

Pascuala is a natural storyteller. I read her book before hearing her presentation and I was still captivated by her story. It is deeply personal and inspiring. She has a special way of connecting with the audience when she talks about her life's journey and experiences. Our audience was equally engaged and very much enjoyed her presentation. 

Claudia Baranowski

Shaumburg Library

Community Engagement and Literacy Librarian 


Pascuala Herrera moved us to laughter and to tears during her presentation and discussion of her memoir. By providing us with vignettes from throughout her life and long career in education, we were able to understand the ways our school structures, policies, and interactions with students and colleagues with disabilities are severely lacking. We left the session with a greater awareness but also an increased capacity to serve as supportive advocates both in our individual practice and as part of our school community. Having Pascuala unpack the narratives and talk through them with us dramatically increased the value of what we could take away from her memoir, and we are indebted to her for tireless efforts.

Stephanie Whalen

Chair, Academy for Teaching Excellence, Harper College; 

Professor, English and Interdisciplinary Studies

Pascuala Herrera beautifully demonstrates in her honest and moving presentations the importance of community, faith, persistence, and courage to her audiences, whether they are faculty seeking ways to better support their students academically, new college students still uncertain of their life goals, or an auditorium filled with appreciative listeners who are reminded that all of us, despite challenges and loss, can find purpose, transformation, and our true selves through meaningful loving relationships and joy in serving others.  

Judy Kulchawik, MEd, MA, 

Associate Professor of English and Interdisciplinary Studies Emerita, Harper College  

In her motivational presentation with excerpts from her award-winning memoir: Not Always a Valley of Tears, Pascuala Herrera provided a truly inspirational evening peppered with personal anecdotes that were at once inspiring and informing on topics ranging from immigration, disability advocacy, economic challenges, and family. Running the gamut from personally tragic to lightly humorous, Pascuala led us on a journey from La Purísima, Durango, Mexico to Franklin Park, Illinois; from being sent to a “special school” as a child with a disability, to being a faculty member of Harper College and an educator with 30 years of experience.

It was an honor to host the award-winning author at her home library in the town of Franklin Park, Illinois. Attendees were eager to make purchases of her book in both English and Spanish and learn about her process of self-publishing and marketing. Our book club members got to spend a riveting discussion group with the author and hear her inspirational anecdotes and swap personal stories from their lives. A natural born storyteller, Pascuala is at once incredibly engaging as a presenter as well as extremely personable in a small group setting in discussing her book, future writing projects, and advocacy work. A force to be reckoned with, Pascuala is a must as a presenter for inspiring stories, disability advocacy, and not letting anything stand in your way to achieve your dreams.

Vanessa Morrison

Assistant Director 

Head of Public Services

Franklin Park Public Library District

The twists and turns of Pascuala’s life story and the life she lives is a testament to the power of the human experience. Our patrons very much enjoyed her presentation.”

Matt Binder, 

Adult Program Coordinator, 

Schaumburg Township District Library.



An emotional tour-de-force, Pascuala Herrera’s Not Always A Valley Of Tears is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the wonders of faith as she looks back on her life from Mexico to the US, from the depths of despair to the heights of ecstasy.

The story of Herrera’s life is pieced together to be symbolic of the will of the people she calls her family, swaying from crisis to crisis, from triumph to triumph. The ethereal essence of her religion and belief in the importance of family and love is starkly contrasted against the visceral and unforgiving material world of disability and disenfranchisement and the dusty heat of Mexico.

The writing style while mature did not veer into purple territory. With the lilt and attitude of a multi-lingual writer, Herrera is also not afraid to play around with imagery. The emotional insights are also themselves markers for the unique perspective so colorfully laid out in this memoir. 


Pascuala Herrera takes us on a powerful journey of pain, fear, suffering, courage, insight, and possibility. Herrera's compelling memoir is a beacon of hope for our humanity. She is a wonderful storyteller. Must reading! 


What a wonderful read! This book is not only a look into Ms. Herrera's personal life story but a lesson on resiliency. She takes you on a journey from being born in Mexico, having a disability, traveling to the United States to be part of a society where there is segregation and oppression. She is a part of the disability movement making changes to the law and overcoming so many challenges. She continues to not let her disability define her but embraces life to become an inspiring successful woman. This is a book that everyone should read and I highly recommend it.


A wonderful read that is full of heartfelt emotions - The author vividly invited readers into her world of family, culture, challenges, and love. The author's humor and perseverance are key elements to making this book a page-turner and filling your heart full of hope. I highly recommend reading this book if you want to be inspired and grateful for the life before you.


Excellent writing—easy to read—a page-turner! An entertaining and informative book about a life well-lived.  I would highly recommend it to everyone as the author’s style draws you into her life. A perfect read especially during this time of focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. It should be made into a movie.


“I must congratulate this lady on writing this book. It felt so very honest, and I was totally gripped until the very end.” Female reader, aged 37 


The author has strong writing skills, capable of articulating the ups (and incredible downs) of her life. Not only was I moved by her story, I was often inspired too.” Male reader, aged 51 


Esta redaction de como la vida de una pequeña niña imigrante con desabilidades superó los mas grandes obstaculos que la vida le puso en frente, nos sirve de mucho aprendisaje y admiracíon. Pascuala nos lleva a muchos rincones de su vida, siempre demostrando una determinacion feróz y una fé impresionante. Una de las cualidades de Pascuala es que ella ve todo lo que le pasa como una forma de ayudar a los demas. Sin duda, les recomiendo leér este libro!


De fácil lectura, entretenido, chusco, triste e inspirador. Pascuala es sin duda una mujer que se da a si misma y a su comunidad, pero sobre todo sinónimo de éxito resultado de su empeño y trabajo arduo.   


Hermoso libro,fácil de leer, divertido triste informativo y muy entretenido lo recomiendo 100%


If you are in need of some inspiration, this is a must-read life story of resilience and courage. Reading it helped me introspectively look at life's challenges as things that can propel us forward beyond our previously conceived limitations. Pascuala's natural style draws you into her story and helps you see that the beauty of life is in the journey. 


Pascuala Herrera's "Not Always A Valley of Tears" is a Memoir of her life as a Mexican, woman with a physical disability. The transparent sometimes emotional narrative of her life was engaging from beginning to end. I like that she does not gloss over the physical, social, or emotional challenges of having a disability. The author shares with readers how many of her life challenges were surmounted by faith in God, her own persistent dedication to succeed, and her supportive family and friends. The memoir gives a voice to the humanness of being a Mexican immigrant and a woman with a physical disability. I believe the memoir is a contribution to several genres of studies: Culture, Disability, and Women. 


If you want to read about the power of love, then this book is for you! It's a captivating story with a very natural story-telling approach that had me reading through the night. It is one of those hard to put down books. I loved it and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to feel inspired. 


This book is truly amazing! Very well written, making you feel like you are living every moment right along with the author. Pascuala overcomes life's challenges with sheer will power and incredible courage. Her unique story is packed with valuable lessons and should be read by all!


This story not only taught me about somebody else's life but truly made me look upon my own. Pascuala has provided us with a rubric on not only how we can push past expectations or adversity in our own lives but also on how much we can really offer to help others through theirs as well. Every page I read of this story brought me different emotions, feelings and self-reflecting thoughts that no other story has ever given me. This story was motivational, powerful, inspiring, eye-opening and insightful. I have and will continue to recommend this story to so many, as it has taught me how much more appreciative I can be in my life, as well as of those in it as well.


“The strength of this book is that it helps people to understand that anything is possible, even when it seems impossible. I would recommend this memoir to anybody who enjoys rooting for the underdog. The author should be very proud of, not only her life, but writing this book. Very enjoyable!” Female reader, aged 55 


As a first generation Mexican-American graduate student, I laughed and cried while reading Herrera’s all too relatable book. This book captured so many struggles that first generation students face, such as being the first to attend college, facing discrimination, language barriers, understanding disabilities, and finding your voice and place in the world. Pascuala’s book motivates me to continue fighting for social change and it reminds me to never lose hope. 


Pascuala Herrera es una mujer admirable. Nacida en el pueblo La Purisima del estado de Durango de la republica mexicana. Ella escribio este libro que us una joya. En mi persona, el libro me hizo vivir momentos de mucha felicidad y tristeza, me llego al corazon! En partes reia y me llenaba de gozo, en otras lloraba. Es un libro maravilloso! Les recomiendo que lo lean porque se que para todos es una gran inspiracion. 


Este libro es un reto a descubrir y vivir nuestro potencial.  Si yo hubiera leído este libro hace 50 años, cuando llegue este país, yo hubiera hecho mucho más de mi vida. 


Inspirador excelente libro te ayuda a mirar la vida desde otra perspectiva.  Te hace ver la vida desde otra perspectiva súper emotivo,inspirador y te motiva a nunca darte por vencido. Bravo por Pascuala Herrera