My story begins in Mexico: my birthplace. It was in Mexico where I became blind in a car accident. It was in Mexico where my father was killed for political reasons before I was born. My mother made plans to move to Chicago with her three kids. One of the reasons she moved to Chicago was so I could get an education, as she knew it would have been harder for a child who is disabled to get an equal opportunity to learn. Once in Chicago, our new family and new life began with a younger brother and a stepfather; yet our life was far from a happy ending. We struggled through poverty, violence, discrimination, language barriers, and inaccessibility to resources.
I graduated in May of 2014 from UIC having majored in English and Psychology; and of course, I consider this a great achievement. I was able to obtain my U.S. citizenship while in college. However, I know what it feels like to be denied vital services for not having “proper” documentation. I also know that much work needs to be done here for others to obtain many needed services. I have fought and continue to fight for equal access to education and resources here in the United States, but I also know that I have transformed from a silent disabled child afraid of rejection to a woman who can advocate for herself and her communities. I use my personal narratives and poetry performances to share my own experiences and those of my family so I can raise awareness and start conversations towards action.
The Butterfly postcard campaign was developed by the UIC Latino Cultural Center in collaboration with student organizations Fearless Undocumented Alliance and Heritage Garden Student Group that highlights the parallels between the migration of people and Monarch butterflies across national borders.
You can also pick up a postcard at the UIC Latino Cultural Center and mail it to someone that can help improve the lives of immigrants.