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Bertis Mercedes Sanchez

Migrating is an action that we carry out out of necessity, since we migrate looking for economic improvement and a better quality of life...

Esther Cermira Pena Rios

Esther Cermira Peña Ríos, 43 years old, Valencia, Carabobo state.


The migration is a very difficult step, Since the decision in my particular case,   I had no choice. Despite being two neighboring countries where I migrated, a lot has changed because it is another culture, gastronomy, customs, other words that have other meanings; I knew many things about this country where I emigrated, because my mother is from here and she also had to be a migrant in my country; the most important thing I have not left because even though I am far away,   it is only physically because my heart and soul are still in Venezuela with my loved ones, the memories of Venezuela and my roots at every moment , principles and values is what I carry with me always giving the best of myself and my country.

My mother and my older brother are from Colombia, I did not know this great nation personally until 4 years ago. But I grew up listening to the stories of my mother describing with such passion, nostalgia, tenderness and much love her "little piece of heaven" as she always referred to her longed for Colombia And where to emigrate if not to this homeland that gave me my heroine: my mother . With ups and downs like everything, since at first it was not easy, but with an eye on the goal, With optimism and perseverance, the doors that were previously armored were opened.  There were many stumbling blocks along the way, but with a lot of faith in God who always sends us angels with human forms to help us.


When I was 6 years old, my parents' best friend asked him for financial help and my parents told him to come live with us, that he had a job, room and board on our farm; this friend was from Colombia and living with us. He raped me. He was the foreman of my parents' farm and every time someone in Colombia speaks ill of a Venezuelan, saying that we came to steal, destroy and kill... They make me relive the rape I experienced when I was 6 years old... Because for me not all Colombians are rapists, nor are they bad. Like Venezuelans, not all are bad and for me a person who does evil has no identity, for me that man who raped me is not Colombian but a "rapist" for me Colombians is what I grew up with: my mother and my older brother.

I wanted to share my personal experience in this stage of so much innocence in my life; For all those: girls, boys, men and women who have been victims of sexual abuse on this migration journey and have remained silent. Feeling shame and in some way guilt, when they are not guilty of anything; But they have been silent and have known how to carry on successfully despite their injuries and having lost a battle, but remember: they have not lost the war! Always forward with your head held high! With wounds and marks on the soul that are not visible but are there latent and at any moment they want to come out to the surface and continue hurting us; But Don't give up, no matter how difficult And we may not understand at the moment why? But this that helps us to be stronger and invincible, not with hatred, nor with resentment and much less pity towards ourselves, but let us try as much as possible to prevent others so that they do not live what we had to live.

One of my plans was to bring my 80-year-old mother, with a disability, a returned Colombian, who served my country for 50 years in arduous social work, homeless people, people with disabilities, evicted from cancer, AIDS, and took them to our home. He won an international award in Venezuela, leaving the name of Colombia high and as in Venezuela I could not afford the health part, diapers, medicine, food. Now from Colombia I will do everything possible to give the best possible quality of life to this great woman who did so much for Venezuela, even fighting for the things that she requires. I continue with the desire to fulfill those wishes that she had since having Alzheimer's makes it difficult for her, I also want to be able to take her alive to her native Armenia Quindío with the rest of the family that is still alive and the book that she wanted to write so much to capture her roots and her experience as a migrant in Venezuela and how grateful she was for 5 decades in my country where she got married, had three more children and where she lost her memory.

Migrating is not easy, but it is not impossible either and from the hand of God every dark and cold night will always have a beautiful dawn full of hope to follow the path to the goal that you have set for yourself, there are days full of uncertainty, with no light on the horizon but don't give up. We must always keep in mind that God gives the toughest battles to his bravest warriors.  Just hold on a little longer and the blessings will start raining down non-stop.


Esther Cermira Pena

Migration is a very difficult step, since the decision in my particular case,  I had no choice. Despite being two neighboring countries...

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