Stories For Liberation: “Porque Ayudamos a Nuestra Gente”

“Porque Ayudamos a Nuestra Gente”

By Yoelli Vargas

When I think of my page one, I think back to when I was 11 years old. I came home from school and ran to my bedroom to place my backpack down. As my mother sees me running down the hall into my room, my mother begins to run after me and yells “No, no vayas entrar a tu cuarto que la vas a despertar” which translates “No, do not go into your bedroom you’re going to wake her up”. Before my mother could finish her sentence, I opened the door. To my surprise, I see a young indigenous girl sleeping on my bed. I tipped toed closer to see who she was.

My mother grabbed me by my arm and pulled me back into the hallway. As my mother pulls me back, all I could see sre blisters on this young girl’s hands and feet.

¿Quién es ella? Who is she? I asked. My mother looked at me and said “se llama Rosie, ahorita llego de Guatemala, tu papa y yo la acabamos de recoger.” (Her name is Rosie, she just arrived from Guatemala, your dad and I just picked her up).

Rosie from Guatemala? ¿Es familia? Is she family?

“No”, my mom said. She is a family friend.

How do you know her? I asked my mother

  • I do not know her, I know her aunt.

With much confusion, I say, “Why would you have someone that you do not know in my bed?” I then hear my father’s voice. He was walking up the basement stairs saying “porque eso lo que nosotras hacemos Yoeli, ayudamos a nuestra gente.” – “Because that’s what we do Yoeli we help our people.”

Honestly, my father’s response was not much of a surprise. My parents have always taught us the importance of unity.

  • But why is she hurt?

Mom, why is she hurt? My mom said “porque ella vino en el camino.”

¿El camino?  si el desierto (Yes, the desert).

My mother then began to tell me her migration story, my father’s story and my family’s migration story. As my mother began to prepare for dinner, she continued to speak about her “El Camino” experience. I slowly leave the kitchen and walk up to my bedroom. I cracked the door open, hoping Rosie heard all of the commotion. Nope. She was still asleep.

My mother knew what I was up too, as I was walking back to the kitchen with much disappointment she looked at me and said Yoeli she is very tired.

10 minutes later, my brother comes storming into the house from soccer practice and I say “hey, there is a girl sleeping in my room”.  He say’s “I know dad told me in the car”. He was not as interested as I was about this. He went about his way and I continued to wait patiently for Rosie to wake up.

About 45 minutes later, she finally wakes up! I hear my bedroom door open. I walk up to my bedroom and see Rosie peeking out my door. I wave hi, Rosie smiles. I open the door and finally get to meet Rosie. Unfortunately, Rosie did not stay the night her aunt and Uncle came to pick her up.

With much confidence, I could say this moment along with many others are my first pages cuando supe que tenia que ayudar a mi gente (When I knew I had to help my people).


  1. Absolutely beautiful story! Thanks for sharing this very special moment and they way your family helps others to realize their full potential.

  2. Yoeli, you are a champion to me! I am so grateful to be considered your colleague and partner in education! Thank you for sharing yourself with us!