I am very fortunate indeed to have two countries where my heart resides.
One is the country I was born into, the United States of America; the other is the country that adopted me for five years, Mexico so that I say “Soy mexicana en mi corazón.”
But what has captured my heart more than anything else are the people that weave through life and whose steps wear the ancient stones bare.
Recently I traveled back to my other country and have been showcasing some photos on Instagram and Facebook that I took during that week. Lately, it’s been the people I’m showing most.
Sure, I don’t know them all, and in fact I know very few of the ones I captured in time, but they are to me, all of Mexico and why my heart beats to a Latin rhythm.
And I know the debate rages here in my home country—build a wall, send ‘em back, learn English, stop taking our jobs, criminals, illegals, GO HOME.
There is no easy solution. We can’t open the floodgates to everyone, I get that, but to those who post the hurtful messages like the ones above, bear with me a moment while I bear my soul.
This is who I know: a mama who brings her toddler son to sit in the street all day while she hopes for someone to buy her little dolls so they can eat that night; the old man with no family and no government to care, so he goes to the only place where someone might—a church; the girl of 12, responsible for three younger siblings but only knows to feed the baby Coke and cookies because that’s what she would want, and then when mom comes home from earning less than one American dollar for 10 back breaking hours, the girl is beaten black and blue for her trouble; the mom who desperately wants her son to learn but only with a uniform can he go to the free school, so she asks strangers please buy some gum so my boy can learn. So my boy doesn’t have to be like me.
The stories are endless, and these I told, I knew them if only to drop a coin in the outstretched hat…
These are the ones who want to come to our country because they’ve heard that everyone can work, everyone can be better than the generation before… But these are the ones we don’t want because we see them as lazy, a burden, a blight. But what wouldn’t any of us do for our children, fight or them, risk it all, just to say I don’t want you to have to be like me.
I know we can’t solve the problem so quickly or easily so I just beg from the depths of my Mexican corazón, see your neighbor from south of the border as a person doing anything to make it better for her boy. A father risking so much so his baby girl doesn’t have to work her fingers bloody just to eat a meal.
Please, before you post those indignant words of self-declared righteousness, remember these are people.
These are MY people, these are God’s people made in His image just like me, just like you.