The Stories of Many…

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The following piece is based on stories that people from the Mixtec region in Oaxaca shared with me. By no means, these stories define the region.

The stories of your people are not being heard:

Oralia is a seventeen-year-old single mother, but she still looks like a girl. She left her jobless town and seven-month-old baby for a town ten hours away. The new town has 50% of immigration. She works at a taxi station from 5am to 6pm to save money for her baby’s baptism. Her baby, Guadalupe, was born on December 12, the birthday of Virgen de Guadalupe. Guadalupe is Oralia’s blessing.

Oralia’s cousin left her town in Veracruz six years ago, and disappeared within transnational lines. Her family still waits for her everyday, hoping to hear any news. Do you think your border can tell us where did she go?

Mario’s mom was pregnant with his brother when she had to jump a few walls to run away from her husband’s fist. Mario has been an alcoholic for more than 10 years, and sometimes he silences his wife with his fist while (ironically) she is pledging for a better life in silence. She’s scared; she thinks she can’t jump walls.

Doña María is silently tired of Don Adolfo’s punches, yet she thinks life is like this and she can’t do anything. Her daughter wants to be the son that Don Adolfo’s never had and always wished for. Now, she’s hitting her husband, who though he would never hit a woman, and now he’s hitting her too.

Ramiro has been living in the US since Alma, her daughter, remembers. He has seven kids and wants to give to each of them a post-secondary education. He comes back once in a while, but his wife counts the day until he goes back. She’s been husbandless since her daughter remembers. Alma is now unemployed and looking for the value of her university degree. A thousand pesos a week is not what she expected. Now, she wants to get a norteño so she can live with his remittances and not have to tolerate him everyday.

When Diego was sixteen years old “some guys” entered his house and shot him to death. Diego liked a good joint and sold marijuana on the streets. Everything changed when the president declared the war on drugs and a drug cartel entered his small town. They needed to take control. We don’t know what mistake made him deserve to be dead. Diego was sixteen years old.