1 Year Anniversary Release of
Reflection on launching a zine, growth as an artist and community building.
A year ago, my first zine "The Savior" was released into the world. I didn't even know I made a zine or that anyone would want to read my words. I'm forever grateful to those who were involved in the conception of it: My Tio and Dad who wanted to read my work, my sister and friends Suzy and Lizzie who encouraged me to put it on the internet, Zaira of Central American Art & Beauty who shared it with the Central American community. Of course, my eternal gratitude to everyone who has received a copy and embraced it with open arms.
In the last 12 months, my humble words stapled together on copy paper has grown into a new life I would have never imagined. I blossomed into an artist and found strength in my voice. I discovered the power of representation. I found my community of POC creatives and Central Americans. I was nourished by the warm reception, encouragement and support of my community.
But the work that I do is not just for me. In the last year of sharing my work, I have connected with so many people with similar struggles, histories and all with the same hunger. It's an oddly soothing feeling to be isolated for so long and then to finally meet others who have a similar heartache and heavy soul. I never had a sense of community before but now, we're finding each other to heal with art.
There is so much healing to be done since our diaspora community of Central American families, refugees and many other vulnerable populations are being attacked everyday. As we're trying to heal, we're constantly slammed against the wall, ripped apart and told our lives mean nothing. How to process nightmare situations on top of an eternal heartache for your people and fragmented history? How do we find survival in the immorality and dehumanization of it all? What value is left when even children are targets?
I don't have the answer to any of it and I can't begin to process the hell landscape our people are experiencing at the moment. In the disenfranchising waves of it all, it's easy to drown. The hard part is to push forward, that our existence is resistance. As art has taught me, know that you're not alone with these feels. Here's a long list of organizations who are fighting back. Follow LatinaRebels for curated news articles. #CentralAmericanTwitter offers food pics and solidarity.
In my small humble way, I'll be donating 25% of all my sales from 6/21-6/30/18 to RAICES, a refugee and immigrant center for education and legal services. They are in the front lines of serving the families in detention centers.
Yes, the news is draining. Yes, it feels like it's hard to breathe some days. Even more reason to do what you can when you can. No se me agüite con todo esto. Even though we as a community have been through centuries of abuse, we are resilient and together, can move volcanoes. Thank you all for the support y juntos venceremos cualquier pesadilla para seguir adelante.