Personally, the decision to migrate to the United States has been one of the most difficult decisions of my life. On the one hand, there existed the opportunity to do it in a relatively easy way and the possibility of new opportunities that would have meant a radical change in my life and the lives of those I love, above all, the life of Santiago, my son. On the other hand, was the difficult, almost impossible decision to have to separate myself from my baby without knowing when I would be able to see him again; how many days, months, or even years were going to pass without being able to hug him. Just the thought that I would not be able to tuck him in when he went to sleep, that I would not be able to take care of him when he was sick…it meant and still means a lump in my throat and a profound pain.
A big part was the frustration over the lack or little possibility of a decent job in which I was respected as a woman and as a professional, a lack almost reaching the conformism of terrible working conditions which the majority of people are subjected to. In the end, it was the fear of the uncontrollable violence in Guatemala, violence of which I was victim on several occasions and of which I was also a witness, witnessing the vile murder of a 13-year-old boy and realizing that Santiago could be that innocent child, murdered in the street when he left school simply because he did not want to belong to the gang. I realized that I had to find a better place, a place where my son would not grow up with the fear to which we are all prisoners in my country, a country where we leave the house without knowing if we will return or if we will end up becoming part of the daily statistics.
Personally, the decision to migrate to the United States has been one of the most difficult decisions of my life.
Despite my own desire to fight in my beautiful country, I had to face that day when I said goodbye to my son, my mother, my siblings and nieces. Six months passed without being able to see my Santiago. I missed the piñata at his 4th birthday party, his first day of school and many other moments that I will never be able to get back in our lives, but there is also the great satisfaction of knowing that I am working with all my strength so that one day soon, we are together forever.
As a professional, a woman, a mother and a migrant, it is an honor to work at the Colibrí Center with the families of missing persons. Talking to families every day teaches me a lesson in love and sacrifice, which each of these people made when making this difficult decision.
As a team and as individuals, we are witnessing that migration is one of the greatest acts of love that a human being can perform for their loved ones. Each story is unique and teaches us a lesson in life. Their stories help us to understand that this person was a father / mother, son / daughter, brother / sister, husband / someone who is missed and has left a vacuum that no one else can ever fill. It is a story of struggle, sacrifice, hope, but above all of LOVE.
Contact Colibri Center: firstname.lastname@example.org, 520-724-8644, colibricenterorg.
By Mirza Monterroso
Mirza Monterroso is a Colibri Center Founding Team Member, Communications Manager and Historias y Recuerdos Project.
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