I am a student of Fine Arts from Greece and have always had the dream to see places outside Europe, other cultures and landscapes. As far as a very good way to do it was through studies, I decided to apply for a scholarship for studying in Mexico. I was lucky enough that my dream came true: in 2010 I got a scholarship to study Fine Arts at the National School of Plastic Arts of the UNAM!
My joy was great! I always wished to travel there, to learn this ancient culture, to see precious relics, the art of the past and present, beautiful scenerys those I saw in photographs, to taste so famous cuisine! All friends who had traveled to Mexico, returned with best impressions and the wish to visit this country again!
During the coming months I prepared all bureaucratic issues and against the opposition of my parents who were very concerned about a condition of security in Mexico, bought my ticket and got on the plane. I arrived with all my senses, with incredible desire to see, smell, hear, get to know this so distant, so different land!
The classes began, I met my teachers, who I will never forget. Very valuable, mature people had much to teach about art, about life, about everything. People those are respectful from very first moment, without any academic coldness and distance. Highly educated people, noble people. There in Mexico a lot of high quality and particular people, young and old. The quality that forged by the powerful history that Mexico leads on it’s shoulders.
Mexico City is a huge melting pot, a dazzling combination of ancient civilizations and religions, the Spanish heritage and Catholicism, signs of globalization and influences of neighbours. A peculiar amalgam that extremely interesting to observe and think about it. But life before all of it. So much life that manifests itself in so various ways! This is not examples of worldly wealth, but examples great quality of characters! The quality that is not feasible everywhere.
I found valuable friends and learned a lot from them! I even made a very nice affair that soon became an important relationship.
I traveled though the Republic and was lucky enough to admire all wonderful places those I dreamed to see one day. I found unforgettable diversity of nature and different cultures on my way.
I spent a year in Mexico. My relationship became a promise of marriage and my life will never be the same after this experience.
I realized many things at this time. If, for example, I had stayed only three months, I would have visited places with best views and most beautiful things, but I chose to stay for whole year, so it was imposible to avoid another side of Mexico. Mexico with rivers of sweat of workers who still can not bring to family essential things; with hard glares of muggers; with fear of mothers who wait daughters back to home; with exploitation and inequality, pain, multiple wounds in the social fabric, in recent years Mexico is suffering from wounds in its body.
I watched, observed, because that was why I had decided to come to school and not just take a tour. I wanted to see and understand what is real everyday life in this beautiful place. I wanted to feel it. Life is hard in Mexico, injustice reigns there, an exploitation is not only internal but additionally and foreign also. Payloads. But I still impossible do not wonder at a force of life springs here. A strange place…
I finished my studies and returned to Europe. But my Mexican story hadn’t been finished. I joined my life to a wonderful person, who stood waiting for my forthcoming return. But Mexico still had a surprise in store for me, the saddest one in my life. Hardest hit that I couldn’t not even imagine it can be true and so close to me. My boyfriend has been disappeared by force, deprived of liberty, without news of him since the day July 22, 2012, along with two of his work colleagues.
My boyfriend, Diego Maldonado Castañeda, a psychologist, from a poor family, a person who has fought hard to get a life with dignity. Works with children and adolescents, he is a person who believes that good education is the vehicle for the future, a person who loves his country, its traditions, its rituals, its various cultures, is a person who has always honored his country and has worked for social welfare. He never was dazzled by the wealth in Europe and would not leave his country and his struggle.
For more than three months he is a victim of enforced disappearance in the Paracho, Michoacán, where he went with Ana Belem Sanchez and Luis Enrique Castañeda Nava, to teach science classes for children and young people of Paracho, invited by the municipality of the region. He was taken in Santa Fe hotel where he was staying with his two companions.
It is a very different things to know about same cases from media and be faced with such tragedy in your personal live. Since that my mind is in Mexico at every moment, waiting for some news, for someone to tell me something. Why so bad? Why such cruelty? Why Mexico despises the best of their children, the most dreamers, the bravest, those who want to make it a better place for everyone?
Three months have passed and my future has been erased. It is impossible to see the next day, for me there is no tomorrow without Diego. There is nothing further if not just evil and injustice! This world is very inhospitable. Now I can feel firsthand the pain and sadness those feel every day thousands of Mexicans who living in disregard for life. I’m not Mexican but this strong pain had joined me definitely. No step back, my life will never be the same after this.
The purpose of this letter is to warn that we must avoid irreparable situation and hit before it is too late. We need to join forces and work together to provide security to Mexico. To give the highest value to life. Caring for the future of all, take care of the future of Mexico, raising this high ideals and heal wounds. We need to stop the violence now! This is not only work for next government, but the responsibility of the whole society. We must develop collective consciousness against unhealthy forces that are granted to crime and destroy the social fabric and human life.
I make a petition for the return of my beloved companion Diego Maldonado and more for all those people who suffer in similar cases.
I hope that a new era dawns, without violence, an era in which we can all live in peace and equality, without fear, without prejudice. One was that we have to build.
Source (Spanish): www.lajornadamichoacan.com.mx/