Over 26 years ago I migrated to Costa Rica when I was just a baby.
My migration experience may be different to that of some people because when you are a baby you don’t get to choose, someone chooses for you. In my case, it was my mom.
To this day, I do not know all my family. I don’t see them much, I cannot distinguish who is my uncle or my aunt. I could run into them in the street and do not know who they are. Lately, some close persons have passed away, and even death, without a body to bury or space where to accompany it, implies feelings that cannot be express by words. As a foreigner, the joys and sorrows are experienced differently.
The hardest part is always to rediscover yourself because since you don’t have a close or clear origin, and you face discrimination and phrases like “you don’t belong here even if you came when you were little”, you might be tempted to feel like you are from nowhere, like you are not a part of anything. You might be tempted to think you do not have the right to sing a national anthem, to celebrate a national holiday, to speak like a “tica” or to have an opinion about what is going on in the country.
Since I was little and thanks to reading, an activity I love since I was eight years old, I started to realize that I was simply a person that was not from anywhere, but I was actually from the whole world. I discovered that to migrate means to move and that every person, physically or spiritually, is a migrant.
At 12, a high school public speaking contest in which I discussed reading, migration and refugees set the first stone that allows me to work today counseling and facilitating integration processes for people who, just like my family, search a better world. This deep desire to build a homeland, humanity and a dignified living for everyone is not an easy job but is a strong belief.
Costa Rica is a wonderful country, is the land that has seen me grow up. However, I believe that more than a nation in this land, the call of all people is to build a universal humanity wherever we may be.