(Love) stories of Muna…

Filed under: Mexico, Yucatan Diary — evs global change @ 07:26

In the last articles in our Blog my volunteer colleagues Rosalba, Chloe and I, we were speaking about our Host Organization, our language classes and the Chac – lol cooperative. Beside that Rosalba interviewed some local people from the village Muna, where we are living, to tell you more about lives of some local inhabitants. So I thought it might be interesting for you to get to know more about the persons we are living, working and dealing with in our daily lives here. Here in Muna you can hear a lot of stories about immigration, most of the times about people you are leaving at least for a while to America, which goes a long with a lot of complications. The story of Dana is an example about immigration the other way around.

 Rommel, our boss, is married to a beautiful lady named Dana. She moved from the United States to Mexico because she fell in love with the country, the culture, and with a special man…Rommel…

 Dana studied social work in the United States and she was especially interested in the field of Sustainable Development, Communities, movements and activities for Human Rights and International Development. In 2004 Dana had her first trip to Mexico as she was fascinated and interested to see Chiapas, where some fair trade coffee is produced, but also to meet and get to know Zapatistas, people who are fighting for the rights of indigenous people. She was fascinated and interested in everything she got to know here in Mexico, and it was just taking a few month that she returned back to visit a conference in Guanajuato. American and Mexican people built up a center with the aim of Global Justice and equality. Dana and Rommel met the first time and the love story started to grow up…

 At the time of the conference Dana did not speak any Spanish, with a dictionary and helpful colleagues who were translating for them, they managed to have their first conversations. On both sides they were fascinated about each other. When Dana was speaking about their first meetings she still seems to get excited and enthusiastic, she can remember every moment and every chat very well. And she can still tell you almost everything about the speech of Rommel at this conference, which she was translating afterwards. I wonder if she still can remember the shoes he was wearing at that special day.

 As we know most love stories don`t have an easy beginning and go along with different kind of challenges. After the conference Dana needed to go back to the states and she was concentrating on her study. But they decided to stay in contact via Email and letters. Dana was highly motivated to learn Spanish and Rommel was wondering about her fast learning process, in every message she managed to write more and more in Spanish.

 Dana got active in translating documents for the Foreign Student Depature and many fields of here study went along with different themes Rommel was working with, like fighting for rights of the indigenous inhabitants in Mexico.

 In 2004 Dana was graduating and Rommel saved up all his money to visit her for this special event. Dana decided to go back to Mexico, together with her future husband. Of course there was still a language barrier which goes along with difficulties. To immigrate from the States to Mexico goes along with paper work and some money, about 130 Dollar a year.

 At the beginning Dana had the three month visa, like all tourist do, and afterwards she needed to cross the border to extend the visa for another three month. Every year she had to go to the Secretary of Migration in Merida, had to show up all her papers and to confirm with official papers and stamps that she never did any crime. It is a fact that it is easier to immigrate from America to Mexico, compared to the other way around. After a couple of years and different kinds of official stay permissions, which costs about 130 Dollar a year and the travel costs, Dana had the possibility to get an official Mexican. If you change your residency from an American to Mexican you lose all your rights and all support from the side of America, so Dana decided to keep her residency as American inhabitant.  So to immigrate from America or Europe to Mexico is much easier than the other way around. But of course and as we volunteers all know it is a challenge to deal with language barriers, to get integrated in another culture without speaking the language, to deal with homesickness and to built up a new social life. It is kind of building up a new life in another country with different conditions. Dana managed all these challenges very well and now I can see her as a strong part of the community, the power in behind, and as a happy mother of two children.

 Shalom Lenin, who received his second name from the side of the famous revolutionist, was born in 2006. Their second child is Neza Yualcoyotl, who once was a Aztec governer who found one of the first underground water systems. On the beds of the boys you can find carved in wood the symbols of the jaguar and the snake, these animals have a special meaning in the Mayan culture. The Mayas believe that every human has like a connection to an animal.

 It is nice to see that love can be stronger then distance and different cultures can find such a nice way to live together.


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