Keeping in Touch

Manteniendo Contacto en México
Keeping in Touch in Mexico

Regardless of the distance, I still keep in contact with my family. When I first came here we would only exchange letters since phones didn’t exist in Nonoava. Then, in el pueblo (Nonoava) they were putting telephone landlines and cables. There was a small telephone booth where we could talk. It was still difficult because whenever I called, the townspeople had to send a messenger to my dad and tell him that I was calling. Then, I had to call a second time to see whether or not my parents had arrived. If they didn’t come, it was because they couldn’t and that always made me very sad. If they were there, I was very happy. But eventually my dad got sick again. There were times when he couldn’t even stand up. That’s why he usually didn’t come to the phone, and I felt rather miserable.

Afterwards, I saved up money to put a telephone in their house, but my dad got extremely upset. He said that the didn’t want those kinds of things because he didn’t like them. I pleaded with him and told him, “If you have a telephone at home, you’ll be able to lie down and be there when I call.” But, he told me, “No, I don’t want those things that I don’t even know how to use.” Not obeying his wishes, I paid the telephone company so that they could install a landline in his house. They just needed to put a post near his house to get the connection, but then my dad told them, “No, don’t put that post. Cancel everything.” And, so they canceled everything and gave him the money. I didn’t know about this until I called to ask for the phone number. They told me that my father had cancelled everything. Bewildered, I asked, “How?” and paid again and told them, “Put that post and put that phone there.” After everything worked out, it seems like he’s just glued to the phone. And, he’s also very happy that he can talk from the house. Now he gets mad whenever I don’t call him, haha.

Yendo a México
Going to Mexico

Mirtha and her sisters in Mexico

Mirtha and her sisters in Mexico

When I first got here, I would always say, if I had proper documentation, I would go at least once a month. I would always say that, but now that I do, I don’t go. I don’t go because I don’t have money sometimes. If there’s any luck, I sometimes go once or twice a year. But, I mainly go whenever my mom or dad are at the hospital. I once got to go during Christmas, however.

Sometimes I go with my kids, but I prefer to go alone. When my parents are at the hospital, I prefer to go to Mexico by myself because at the hospitals in Mexico, children are not allowed to enter. I always had to look for someone to look for my little boy, and I was always worrying about him.

La Familia en Colorado
Family in Colorado

Mirtha and her three siblings in Colorado

Mirtha and her three siblings in Colorado

After I came here in 1995, I felt very sad and lonely because I didn’t have any family. Yes, I had aunts and uncles, but that was not enough. My oldest brother came in May, and that’s when I didn’t feel very lonely. Afterwards, in 2002 my other sibling came. Whenever the rest of my family could get a visa to travel here, they came to visit.

With my siblings here, of course, I go visit them, but they are all dispersed. I have a sibling 20 minutes from where I live, another one 45 minutes, and the other one 3 hours away. But, we try to get together and socialize. Our children play together, and we just try to have a good time. Sometimes we go out to a lake, a park, the Three Cascades in Carbondale, or just have carne asada (barbecue) at someone’s house. We’re all very happy, especially when we are together.