La Piragua

On International Day of the Child, UNHCR released the short film “La Piragua” in collaboration with the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras (El Sistema)that comes to remind us of the many children that are affected by violence and conflict and that solidarity has no borders.

While the video narrates the story of a Colombian family that is forced to flee to Venezuela, it made me think of how many Venezuelan children and families have left their motherland and will never grow up there due to the difficult situation in the country. Venezuela is a refugee hosting country (more than 200,000 refugees to date) while at the same time, it has produced one of the top of nationalities seeking asylum in the US (#4 in 2012).

Today, when in the US we’re hoping to hear President Obama talk about how he’ll fix the immigration system to help the thousands of unaccompanied minors that have been seeking refuge here, let’s find perspective and try to walk on their shoes whether they are from Syria, Honduras, Congo, Colombia or Venezuela.

I hope to see the day when they don’t have to worry about these things and when we don’t have to fight for their rights. As Mafalda would say…. PAZ !!!!

Mafalda - paz

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From the city of angels – a new chapter begins

If you have been following me since the beginning of this blogging journey, you must recall that the intention of it was to be able to connect more with my community of friends,  acquaintances and random strangers with whom I have shared the road at one point in my nomadic life. While until now the blog has been a journal of my life in Thailand, I now open this new chapter, hoping to narrow the miles between all of us friends. You will find here random reflections, memories, recommendations of movies and books and more…

MILESTONES

Last week was one of many achievements, personal and professional. First, I logged my first official 1,000 miles on MapMyRun -the result of  19 months of using this program.  Shyly, since November 2012, I have only ran two half-marathons and several 5Ks. However, I feel proud to say that during this time I was able to run in six countries and more than 13 cities (including the not so runner-friendly Baku and Phnom Pehn), always in great company.

Team AOC takes over Baku

Team AOC takes over Baku – Azerbaijan

CHULA stadium Chulalongkorn University’s stadium – ThailandParis bombiers Bombiers de Paris – FranceSiem Reap runSiem Reap – Cambodia

 It has been phenomenal and I could not have done this without my Pasadena Pacers. To my coaches, friends and idols, to all of you that have surrounded me these past years and encouraged me to be stronger, faster and more disciplined: THANK YOU!

Pasadena Pacers

Pasadena Pacers (Find me!)

On the professional side, I marked my 10 year anniversary at work. This job has allowed me to grow immensely and to do incredible life-changing work where I can see the result of my efforts. There, I have had the privilege of serving refugees, asylees and their families while working side-by-side and learning from expert advocates in this field. First as a human rights analyst and most recently as a project coordinator I have been able to develop and nurture a program that through the provision of legal services, makes immigrant integration a priority. Having faced integration challenges as an immigrant myself, I see now how determinant that job interview was 11 years ago. Thanks to my clients, for inspiring me to be a better advocate and for teaching me so much. Infinite thanks to my mentors and my team, for allowing me to take our Project above and beyond.

I imagine these random mindful reflections might not be the most interesting chapters of my blog, but I wanted to share these tiny victories today* because it’s June 8th. And for me, it is a time to remember. 17 years ago, also a Sunday, I started dating Freddy. He has been the constant in my life and has helped me set my compass in the right direction and encouraged me to pursuit my dreams. I could not ask for a better partner for this mission.

F & C

F & C

 

(* written June 8, 2014)