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Family comes first

Por Mariel Fiori
December 2015
The theme of La Voz’s December edition is family. In alignment with this theme, we first present to you two moving testimonies of young women full of both happiness and sadness alongside hope and perseverance. The first is the story of Evelyn Reyes, the second, of Wilmary Rodríguez. Next, just in a time for the resurgence of xenophobia (the fear of foreigners, the exaggerated worry about strangers, i.e. those who are not the same as us), a young Muslim student writes about the Hispanic Muslims he knows in New York, so that we can attempt to understand life through their eyes. Moreover, Avie Peréz, an avid reader of La Voz, took the courage of writing to [email protected] about her experience giving birth here in the Hudson Valley. In addition, the cover of this month’s issue shows a traditional family living in the Andes Mountains of Peru. The message is this: family comes first.  That is why I am writing this editorial, and I invite you to keep reading and share it if you like it.

We are ending the year with a long list of achievements, but just as many issues are still left undone. Maybe they need to put them on the to-fix list for 2016.  Between work, daily stress, and our world at war made of conflicting opinions and sinister violence, it’s appropriate to reflect and ask ourselves what we can do for the world.

The entire planet is at war. There are recurring catastrophes happening everyday, from the bombings in the Middle East, the terrorist attacks in Europe, the war against drug trafficking in Central America to the verbal violence that turns physical between couples, opposing political parties and the conflict between police and people of color. The list goes on. Let us never forget the consequence of these wars: hundreds of thousands of humans forced into exile who have to leave their homes with nothing. Whether it be by boat, train or foot, they search for refuge in any country that will lend them a hand. How would we want to be treated if we were in their shoes?

So, how do I explain to my daughter what this war is?  What do I tell her when she sees images of bombs exploding throughout a city?  These rhetorical questions become reality when my three-year-old daughter asks me: why is this happening, Mamá?  To not have to remain within the confines of sarcasm out of pure helplessness, I propose that we focus on bringing peace to the areas closest to us, beginning with ourselves and our surroundings.

What is closest to us?  We who have families with little ones are in a great position of power and have the responsibility to educate our children in peace and love, so that they learn the value of solidarity and brotherhood early. The strength of the word is immense (which can destroy or unite depending on how we use it). To those who don’t have family close by, volunteer and lend a helping hand wherever you see it is needed (with their hands, minds or their wallets). In fact, it has been proven that volunteering is quite beneficial to our health and makes us much happier.

The famous Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano has already told use once: “Many small people, in small places, doing small things, can change the world.”  How are you going to make change in the year 2016?

Mariel Fiori
Managing Editorback to top

La Voz, Cultura y noticias hispanas del Valle de Hudson



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