Home away from home: Barranquilla, Colombia


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“Y empecé a hablar tanto de ti, no me creyeron. Me dijeron que un lugar asi no podía existir.”

It’s a weird place to be, to feel nostalgia for a country that you weren’t born in but feels like home. People see me in the states and most of the time they guess correctly about being Hispanic, yet I go to Colombia and most people think I’m a “gringa.” I even lived there for a few months as a kid and was called “la mona” (blondie). For the longest time it made me feel like I didn’t belong in either place but I recently realized no matter what people stereotype you as, you choose who you are.

Living away from most of my family has always been hard. My parents made a sacrifice to immigrate for a better future yet that also meant I wouldn’t be able to go to my grandparents’ house whenever and have dinner. Or attend the many family reunions always happening. Or create a bond with the rest of my cousins. Or be physically there during hardships.

Those who immigrate to a new country or live far from family don’t always have the luxury of going back often because of xyz reason and their absence (not entirely from choice) is misconstrued. Sometimes it even feels like you may be living two separate lives. But regardless of all that, every time my mom and I have been able to visit – we try our best to make the seconds count. Seeing home through her eyes is bittersweet, but always worth it.


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