Welcome // Bienvenidos(as)

Hello, there! I am Maggie, welcome to my safe space! As you walk down the isle you will suddenly be astonished by the beauty of the deep sea, the night is lighten by the immensity of the Luna llena. As you continue walking by the seashore you can feel the breeze, hear the roaring waves and smell the salty water.

As you stop and  read, listen or observe the different pages throughout my island, you are more then welcome to grab a glass of wine, smell some fresh cut gannets, play some music, rest and play with my guitar or take a moment to feel the different photo expos I constantly publish. I hope that some of the pages will be of your interest, will serve as an example or you may even identify with some of them. I starting writing when my life as an immigrant began, which was only a couple of years after my birth. I constantly write about the different process that arisen from their process along my life. I like to write about my constant battle in discovering my identity, understanding my privileges and surviving the best way possible in this Earth. I encourage you to skip along the pages that may lack of interest for you.

Please make yourself at home. La Luna is my most loyal companion and friend; she will always be guiding you along your journey here.She is always by my side when I most need her and she is also a great listener. La Luna offers a special kind of silence that while you are speaking to her, she can plant seeds in your heart that will give you the answers you have been searching.

I welcome you once again to MY ISLAND and on your way out I would love if you leave a comment or write an email about your experience in it. My email is mloredov@gmail.com

XOXO

 

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Deported: A Survival Guide for Natural Born Mexicans

Alma M. Rinasz

En el mes de noviembre empecé a preocuparme: en los Estados Unidos teniamos un presidente electo que claramente despreciaba a los mexicanos.  Esto me preocupa porqué 1-soy cuidadana de los Estados Unidos 2-soy mexicana 3-soy cuidadana binacional

Y también soy madre. Mis hijos crecerán en este ambiente de seperación, odio, intolerancia y lenjuage negativa hacía mi gente, hacía mis mismos hijos. Me pregunté ¿qué puedo hacer? Y la respuesta fue esta:

escribiré un libro que se puede compartir con quien sea, por donde sea, sin preocupaciones de fronteras y limites.  Hablaré con las personas quienes conocen esta situación, hablaré con las personas quienes ha sido afectados por las deportaciones, hablaré incluso de mi propia experencia. 

Deported: A Survival Guide for Natural Born Mexicans ha sido una culminación de años de reflexionar sobre lo que significa ser “gringa“, “latina“, “mexicana”, lo que significa tener varias culturas…

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Thank You & Goodbye 2016!

On the first week of 2016, the family welcomed the newest member, my nephew Uriel! In mid-January I finally traveled back to Georgia after almost 8 years. It was a privilege to visit friends, family, walk along my High School. I also walked in front of the house of the person that my heart chose to love. Our eyes were not able to confront because he did not want to come out and I did not want to go knock up to his door. The greatest gift was to be able to spent time with my family.

 

I returned to San Luis after spending weeks in Georgia. In February I traveled to Jalisco with my mom to visit a town which has a lot of culture/traditions called “San Juan de los Lagos”.

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In March, I participated at the CONAHEC 2016 Conference, I confronted a representative from the US Embassy, I was able to expose in front of her the exclusion, discrimination and injustice to our community of returnees/deportees. In March I always remember the birthday of that person I mentioned earlier, that person that was chosen by my soul. The same day of his birthday I received the news that he was in risk of losing his vision. After so many prayers, everything came out great with his surgery (at least that is what I was told).  In March my garden flourished many Alcatraz flower, they are my favorite.

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In April, I traveled to San Francisco – Sacramento – Sonoma to take some of the voices of our community of deportees/returnees. This was a special trip because I was able to meet with a special friend, whom I have admired and known for more than 3 years. It was a great experience to meet a lot of wonderful friends, take our voices to that area and also walk along the Golden Gate Bridge, which BTW we happen to share birthdays and the history behind it is amazing! In April I also got my first tattoo, those eyes that even though I have not seen in over 8 years and I probably will never see again they still represent love and strength. On the positive side, I also made my first watermelon cake this month.

Even though May is the most awesome month (cough, cough birthday is coming up), this year on May 1st the family suffered the loss of an uncle who I had grown up with back in Dallas, Texas. In May I also made the choice to let go of my job at the fast food restaurant after working almost 3 years in a very stressful, on minimum wage and working so many hours and weekends. I felt really good about this decision and started to look for something different. On the 27th I also celebrate one more year of Life, I received so many lovely messages, calls and hugs from so many special people!

In June, I started working as a bilingual interpreter and I have learned so much in the past 6 months. I also cooked my first “pozole” all on my own without help. I traveled to CDMX, met some new returnees, had our first ODA picnic, some workshops and talked to some groups. I also put up a new piece of art on my living room, Alcatraz flowers!

 

We are half way and there is still a lot more to this rollercoaster, a lot of people know as Life. In July I finally understood and accepted Mexico as my home too! I will never erase or not love everything and everybody who has been part of my life back in The United States, those memories will always be something special to me, but after so many years and after being able to have mobility between both of these countries I finally felt like Mexico is the place I want to be in for right now. I have accepted and I am proud of truly being bilingual, bicultural and one day I will also be recognized as binational.  This month I also brought home an addition to the family, my PINK and AWESOME guitar, which I absolutely love.

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In August, I was ready to let go of some people in my life, I did let go of a place, of some friends and I had also let go of that “special person” the one my heart belongs to, but there was more to this love, the last breath perhaps or should I say the confirmation that this love is stronger than anything else in my life and that it will continue in the next life. . I do regret that I actually started to feel good about letting him go… I did a lot of awesome things, I went to see The Beatles Symphony, I went out to walk around Parque Tangamanga here in SLP and I had some homemade “elotes”. I also had several great “girl’s nights” in August with friends. We also introduced our official ODA logo and website, which I can still stare at it forever.

In September, I started the month with RED hair. I traveled to CDMX, participated at The “Students we share” Symposium, we had a support talk for deportees/returnees, I also had a couple of days to walk around CDMX and enjoy taking a bunch of photo with my cell phone. I also went to the “Feria del Migrante” it was meaningful to hear other stories of migration.

 

In October, I started it in Guadalajara for a several days; I spend some great days just exploring new places! I was able to get myself my very own Rebel T6i camera, this is officially my best buddy in the world, no offense to La Luna, you and my Rebel are my world, obviously along with my friends and family!  In the beginning of this month I started to be in touch with  that special person, after being separated for over 3 years, we had started talking a lot and everything was coming out great, there really was a possibility but… On October 26th on his way to SLP, he had just arrived from The States to his house and was on his way to my house to give me a surprise, but he never made it to my house… I rushed to be next to him during his last hours, I never left his side, we were able to be together during those last moments and he promised we would wait for me so together we could walk side by side to the next life.

November was a hard month, so much going on with ODA, school, interviews, courses and trips, but at the same time with my heart broken down into tiny pieces. I started the month going to Guadalajara to take a test, although all I did was take the test and spend the 3 days in my hotel room. I also traveled to 3 times to CDMX and 6 days to Tijuana. I also had a beautiful dinner with some friends from ODA to celebrate Thanksgiving Day in CDMX besides a really helpful course on mental health and Migration. I ended the month making my “Altar de Muertos” which has always been one of my favorite traditions as Mexican, but this year I did it with extra care because it was for that special person.

 

December is finally here and I was clueless on where I would start living in 2017, Guadalajara, CDMX or where? It finally turned out to be that I will be at least a couple more months in SLP since I was offered to participate in an awesome project, which is related to my passion, to what I would like to do the rest of my life; photography! This month we started our ODA crow funding campaign, which I am uncertain of the outcome. I spent Christmas with my family in Santa Maria del Rio.

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As you can see 2016 had A LOT going on, diversity in colors and music. It was a lot about my activism, my role as a returnee, there have been a lot of difficult moments related to my commitment since I was given that mobility privilege. It has been very painful to try to navigate the opposite way as the government, as the majority of society and as a supposed “Dreamer”. As you can tell 216 has been a year full of blessings, love, friendship, difficult moments but also a year of a lot of learning!

I want to prepare myself to receive 2017, if not with a smile at least with a lot of hope. I can already tell it will be another year full of adventures and I am determined to make it a lot more about me. I am clueless on what will happen with my activism, as of right now I am still holding on to that light of hope that we will be able to take off as ODA and as the community I have been part of for the last 3 years.  I am sure there will be ways to continue the “Lucha” to be recognized as “De Aqui y De Alla”.

I wish everyone a very Happy 2017, full of love, hope, health, peace, joy and gratitude!

Abrazos,

Being Selfish & Determined

August  14th 2016 – Two of the most popular bands were going to preform today. The differences were that one is Mexican Banda and it is a hit right now, Banda MS and the other one was a worldwide hit decades ago, The Beatles Symphony. Banda MS was expensive and The Beatles was free. I had decided to go with a friend who was not so convinced but at the moment she said she had to stay over time at work. So, here I was at the Feria Nacional Potosina and these two events were taking place here. I received a lot of calls from friends asking and begin so I could go watch MS, but since I knew The Beatles were preforming and with Symphony I wanted to assist.

I arrived early and to my surprise a great Rock band had just gone up to the stage and to my surprise it the singer had been a friend of mine years ago, so I enjoy the show and I met some great girls and guys and we started dancing, and then another Group sang, Elvis Presley’s era songs and the cherry on the cake was The Beatles Symphony which was beyond incredible. I loved it and had one of the best times in my life.

There were actually a lot more people than I expected, it was full but still able to walk around with out being squished or shoved.

There hadn’t been many times where I stand up to what I truly like and enjoy, in this new chapter of my life I am even listening to other kinds of songs and other music genres. I still like Mexican Banda, romantic and the same music but now I am also listening to other things I also enjoy and love.

From starting alone, I ended up meeting new friends and an old friend from the Rock Banda at the beginning and like good Mexicans we ended the night with TACOS.

Dreams Beyond Borders

I Let go of you 

The show must go on… actually it is the show HAS gone on without you ♡ 

It was not any easy path but I arrived to a dead end where I had to either stay there and let my life pass by or walk back and take another direction. 

I hope where ever you are you may always make use of that smile. It doesn’t mean I will forget all those happy years I spent with you, it only means I can smile at them and follow my own path.

Goodbye Guapito ♡

Letting go of the rope…

On July 5th of this prese2444jyfnt year, I started to be in contact with someone I never expected to meet in my life time. In my opinion a friendship always begins with the term ADMIRATION, and that is what led to this unique friendship that has taken place in less than a month of meeting each other.

The first thing that I noticed was that this person is so strong, so determined to always let himself be guided by the brightness of the moon where ever life may place him.  It amazed me how he has been preparing for something that even though it may not be totally up to him, realizing that the way he continues with his life afterwards is in control of him.

I have met a limited number of people that can understand and be very determined to their convictions. This person is one of those which are able to make use of all the talents and their knowledge to something they firmly believe.

For the past years, and even more in recent months I had been diving into my feelings to discover not my identity but what I was really feeling in regards of what had been my country and the place that had contributed to my formation for 16 years of my life.

I never expected that someone was meant to come into my life to help me clear my thoughts.

The United States will always have a place in my memories, my childhood and teenage years are up there. I have friends, family and places that will always remind me of a life and I society I once had belonged to, but that is all there is to it.

I started questioning what role The United States played in me since I was able to return in October of last year. As I was told that I would be able to travel back and forth to The United States for 10 years, I was extremely excited but also scared of what it would be like to return after so long. Once I stepped on US soil for the first time in almost 8 years I have to admit I was excited, happy, astonished, I felt like I was able to conquer the world.

Later in January of this year, I went to my home town in Georgia. It was a cold, snowy winter that I had mostly spent with my family and being with my niece and new nephew. I realized that my town was exactly the same as I had left it many years ago, the only one that was not the same anymore was me. I had gone through so many experiences (positive and negative) that I looked at all the places I used to pass by when I was a teenager and it felt like it was another person. My friends, family and my school were not the same; nothing was going to be the same. I had already missed on so much that it felt like I was a spirit wondering back in time.

I am grateful I met and spent time with my family whom I absolutely adore, I also spent time with some of my best friends, and also I was able to kneel in front of the alter in my catholic church from which I had promise to return one day. Even though I have learned that it is not essential to be part of a religion and that being in one does not make me a saint or a bad person. I have the ability to choose what kind of person I want to be in life and whether to do good or bad. I do believe in life and in some god but this god is in me, in the sea, in the moon, in nature not inside a building.

Later in April I went to Northern California again and enjoyed being with a great friend and sharing the voices of my community (deportees and returnees). I believe in traveling to see new places, live new experiences, fight for the right to mobility. I believe that everybody should be free to decide where they want to be in the world and for how long without borders or humans restricting it.

I have to admit that while I was in Georgia in January I did miss Mexico, I missed its color, its sun and its freedom. I will always remember when people up there would tell me things like “I am sorry you have to go back to Mexico, I know you probably want to stay here”, HAHA in that moment I wondered, why would I want to stay here? Is it because it is THE GREAT AMERICA? I am sorry but after all I have experienced included recently with my job as an interpreter and having to see on a daily basis how the system in The US works and after having the perspective of an outsider, excuse me but NO. Mexico may not be the best place either; there may be corruption, impunity, murder and poverty. It may not be easy to navigate the system here but looking at The US from here I am not seeing much of a difference lately.

As I said The US will always be part of my life, and I will probably keep traveling for business, pleasure, and specially to be with my family and friends. It doesn’t mean I hate the places and the important people in my life that are up there. I also believe everybody deserves the right to go back and decide if they want to be there or not. In my case I do not want to make a life up there.

If I ever get married or have children ( NEVER WILL) I do not want my children to be part of that system, of that government that it has not only shut the doors on me but to millions of others.

At one moment in my life I wanted to kneel and beg the US Government to please let me study, work, drive and stay in my home (The US), at another stage of my life I was angry and I wanted to confront The US government and ask them for what my crime was? Why was a lot of people and myself being treated delinquents when all we would do is work, study, pay taxes, contribute to an economy, do the hard labor and you refer to us as criminals.!

Now, I do not want to beg nor question the government, I am disappointed at it. A place that I dearly love and pledged as my home does not deserve for me to call it HOME or wanting to be a citizen of it. A place that detains kills and deports people like me does not deserve my patriotism. I am tired of  them issuing a temporarily permission only to those few outstanding young people but expect us to tip toe and not break a single thing, not even by accident or because as young people we took a bad choice but that doesn’t mean we should get kicked out of our home.

I am so disappointed of them being the BULLY and everybody inside thinking they ever were or they are THE GREAT AMERICA.  I do not believe in that discourse anymore, every day I have to see how people navigate the system, and how the people with less privileges are always the once being dehumanized and disrespected.

The person I just met a month ago was the person that placed the last piece of the puzzle, and because of his story and his process I have understood what I feel and what I believe.

“You have been holding on to this rope for so many years that your hands are now tired of pulling and holding on to it, it is time to let go” – My friend

I appreciate you helping me clarify, appreciate and most important to let go of that rope. You inspire me to be positive and that I should not fear whatever it may be unknown to me.

The dream begins Oct 26th 2015

Departing at 6:30 am from DF, flying higher and higher. I was reaching for a dream. Going through the clouds and going beyond them, the intense blue and how it seemed as we were above a layer of cotton balls. I felt like I was in heaven, living a dream. I am living a dream that as the days went by seemed less and less reachable. I am now in Arizona waiting for my flight to San Diego California.

Oh and I spend almost 5 min staring and smiling to a drinking water fountain.

It all begins

As La Luna has always been my loyal friend, La Luna has always been there for me, she has always listened and has always given me the correct answers. NOW I am ready to share my thoughts, my dreams, my goals, my break downs. The time for me to share my Life as I have always done with La Luna. My life is as normal as it can be and it certainly is not special but it is Unique and full of lessons. WELCOME TO MY HOME!!