La Palma/Cerritos Chapter member publishes first book

Maria Cecilia Borja-Van Zitter Courtesy photo

When Maria Cecilia Borja-Van Zitter sent me an e-mail on June 21,2022, I was surprised to learn that she had published a children’s book and was ready to launch it on Amazon on June 22, 2022. She told me that the book was called, “ONE JOYFUL SCOOP AT A TIME!” and that it was about her grandson Bowman, who is called “Bo” in the story. She said that in the book, Bo had a problem at a swimming lesson and had to miss out on his favorite activities until he learned to follow rules and have patience.

The book sounded interesting, so I ordered the book from Amazon and read it.

I only knew Maria Cecilia Borja-Van Zitter as “Ceci Borja-Van Zitter” when she became Hospitality Chairman for our La Palma-Cerritos American Association of University Women (AAUW). After I read her book, I learned more about her. According to her book, Ceci came to Los Angeles, California, in 1966 from Tulcan and Quito, Ecuador.

She said she attended Franklin High School in Highland Park where she met her future husband, Peter. She became a citizen of the United States of America on April 4,1986. Ceci and Peter Van Zitter were married for 33 years from December of 1986 until his passing on March 21, 2020, from lung cancer. I did not know about Peter’s death and did not attend his funeral because of all the restrictions at that time during the Covid-19 pandemic that discouraged gatherings of people.

When I asked Ceci why she wrote the book about Bo, she said that she wanted to fulfill one of her husband’s last wishes, to “take good care of Bowman.” Bo was two years old at that time. Ceci had retired from teaching in 2017 to take care of Peter, and she felt tired for a while after he died. However, in January of 2021, she decided to take a Zoom class entitled, “Personal Development: Re-Ignite Your Life!” by Jack Canfield. Jack challenged her class to do something that would push them out of their comfort zone. At this class, she met Miriam Laundry, who is a Children’s Book Author and Teacher.  She decided to challenge herself and took two classes from Miriam to learn how to write a Children’s Book.

Congratulations to Maria Cecilia Borja Van Zitter for writing her first Children’s Book with a message for young children to follow rules and have patience to wait to celebrate good things in their lives with their families!  Her book is easy for young people to read and is colorfully illustrated by Sara Nieto. Abuelita Ceci said that she hopes to write more books about Bo as she helps him to grow up with her love and guidance.

Maria Cecilia Borja-Van Zitter’s book is available from Amazon in English as “One Joyful Scoop at a Time!” at , or in Spanish as “Una Alegre Porcion de Helado a la Vez!” For more information, contact Maria Cecilia Borja Van Zitter at

La Palma/Cerritos Chapter member publishes first book