Where I come from

Where I come from, Mexico DF, is a city that lies at the feet of the most beautiful volcanos: El Volcan Popocatepetl and his eternal dormant wife, mujer de aguas blancas, La Volcana Iztaccihuatl. They protect us all en el gran valle central, but they cry and melt for a valley and a lake that was taken away.

Where I come from used to be the city of Tenochtitlan, floating over the beautiful lago de Texcoco. The conquistadores came and filled it with soil and dirt, and tried to erase us all with churches of fear, sickness, and religion.

Now, Mexico City is the biggest asphalt jungle of the world.
And the most populated
And the most polluted.
And yes,
of the world.
And one of the most corrupt.
And yes,
of the world.

Where I come from
We touch
We kiss
We look into our eyes
We dance
We touch
We kiss
We hug
We greet
We connect
We kiss
Even if we are sick
We recognize
We laugh
We are loud
We eat
We sing while we cry
We heal the pain with a bottle of tequila or a good mescal with gusano and take our pain away from our heart with a good ranchera
(I prefer mescal y con gusano)
Where I come from, everything is a celebration

Where I come from, family is everything and everyone.
We grow surrounded by tias, tios, padrinos y madrinas, primos y primas.
Some are your blood, some are not, but it doesn’t matter because we are all family

Where I come from lives the riches of the richest and the poorest of the poorest
Of the world
of the world

Where I come from there is a war
It’s called the narco war, and a lot of people are dying
Where I come from you have to learn how to take care of yourself and your loved ones
My cousin was kidnapped, she was raped…
The people who kept her asked for 300,000 dollars
And they only gave us 3 days

Where I come from narcos make all their business here in the U.S.
The real profit is here
We don’t have any dollars to buy cocaine
Where I come from narcos get all their guns from here
We don’t have any gun factories

Where I come from it’s very hard to get a good job
Really hard

Where I come from people come to this country risking their lives with the dream of a better life
With the dream of a better future
A better future for the children
My people become slaves of this economy, working 2 or 3 shifts a day, 7 days a week

We face racism, racial profiling, lack of opportunities, lack of access, environmental injustice, lack of educational opportunities, lack of economic mobility, health disparities, a broken and abusive immigration system and more…

But still, we keep fighting for our dreams

Some of our children get caught into the system and end up in a gang selling drugs
Drugs that come from where I came from
Drugs that come from the same narco that used a weapon made in the US to kidnap my cousin…
Drugs that come from the same organized crime that is killing my people in Tenochititlan…with guns made here
Drugs that are the profit of the same organized crime that is killing our children here, with guns made here
Drugs and guns that are making our lives more difficult in Mexico
Drugs and guns that are separating families in Mexico
Drugs and guns from the same organized crime on both sides of the border that is making the rich richer and the poor more poor.
You see…This is a really good business.

Some are lucky and escape from the hands of the system.
The become revolucionarios and revolucionarias.
They become los volcanes y las volcanas from this land
They represent our culture, our love, our pride
They become Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl but alive and ready to resist;
ready to protect
They protect us
Bringing us all up,
fighting for our rights
with pride, love, and respect
I’ve seen this happening,
I see it every day
Fighting racism and other systems of oppression
They can change this
I believe in them
I’ve seen this happening,
I see it every day

Because where I come from everything is family and family is everyone
Where I come from we honor our family and we protect our loved ones
Where I come from stones are abuelos and mountains are abuelas
Aho matakuyatzin
Por todas nuestras relaciones

Where I come from,
we never want to leave and we always dream to go back

—libelula roja