Dreams and Nightmares: Notes from the Editor
Liliana and I met over forty times over a fourteen months. We just chatted the first few sessions, no writing, no recording.
Dreams and Nightmares/Sueños y Pesadillas
In the last five years, over 200,000 minors have fled their countries in Central America and Mexico and traveled north without their families, only to be caught by immigration at the U.S. Border. Liliana Velásquez is one of them. Every American should read her memoir, Dreams and Nightmares / Sueños y Pesadillas
Welcome to Open Borders
The first time I told my story to a group in the U.S., I had to cover my face with a bandana. I was afraid for my life, since I had been labeled as an illegal alien. I imagined myself being arrested by immigration agents, being deported and-- once back in my homeland-- being taken by soldiers, thrown into a secret prison and tortured to death without anybody ever knowing.
Espejos y Ventanas / Mirrors and Windows: Our Stories in English
I made the decision [to come North] on my own because I wanted to find a new way of life or a future for myself. I wanted to be self-reliant and also to help my family—my mom and my brothers. I have four siblings, all younger than I: my sister is 8 years old and I have one brother who is 14 and another who is 12.
Espejos y Ventanas / Mirrors and Windows: Nuestras Historias en Español
Yo decidí venir [a el Norte] por mí mismo, por querer buscar una nueva forma de vida o un futuro para mí mismo. Por querer realizar mi vida dependiente de mí mismo y ayudar a mi familia--a mi mamá y a mis hermanos. Tengo cuatro hermanos, todos son menores que yo. Tengo una hermana que tiene ocho años y un hermano que sigue enseguida de mí de catorce años y el menor de doce años.
Mami, When Are You Coming Back?
My name is Marta. I live in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. I have two daughters in Ecuador: Gabriela is 17 and Mayte is 11 years old. I have not seen them for 7 years. I decided to come here because the economy back home was really bad. Even though I worked, I could not give them what they needed as they were growing up. I left my job one month before the day I arrived in the US, and cherished all the moments I spent with them, because I knew that those memories were going to keep me alive every day.
My Power Ranger Had One Leg : The Open Borders Youth Radio Project
Glenda Vargas, age fourteen, writes about the most important object in her bedroom—a scrapbook filled with cards, photos and small toys her father sent her from jail when she was four to ten years old. In her scrapbook is her most precious possession—a letter from her father. She decides to ask him to read the letter for her audio story. He had no idea she was making a digital story about him. They talk about his being away, his leaving suddenly, how important his letters and cards were, how much they meant to each other.
I come from Ecuador, from a village called Sidcay. It’s a very small village, in the countryside up in the mountains. I left Ecuador on the day of September 3, in the year 2000. I was sixteen years old. I didn’t have any place to live, I had my son. Often I didn’t have anything to dress him in, or anything to feed him. That was very sad for me. I wanted to find a better future for my son.
The Ecuadorians of Upper Darby
On ten Saturday mornings we met in the basement of Sarbelia C., set up laptop computers and held a digital storytelling workshop. First, participants talked about what it meant to be an immigrant and developed a list of themes that would help them focus their stories. Their list was like a table of contents for the diaspora occurring all over the world, of people moving from poor countries to richer countries, from the country to the city, to survive.