The following letters are not real, but the facts are real. Names have been changed. Several young people who have known me since they were little ones call me "Madrina" - it is a term of endearment which means "Godmother"
I am wondering if you showed the doctors up north the photo that you took of my leg. I am so ashamed of my skin. I only wear jeans. Let me know what the doctors say.
My big brother dropped out of school. We need him to work to help support the family. He is working at a mechanic shop. Maybe you did not hear that my dad left for the United States. I am worried about him because we have not heard from him for a long time.
My little sister and I continue with our studies. Did you like the necklace I made for you?
I do love the necklace that you made for me! I wear it often and people ask me where I got it. I tell them that you made it for me.
The doctors here do not know what kind of infection you have on your leg. It looks like it might be under the skin. They say that you need to go to see a doctor in your town. Can your mom take you there?
I remember the time my husband and kids and I stayed at your house. You and your brother and sister were pretty little! I remember your brother was taking recorder lessons at the church and he liked to play for us. I will never forget how you all slept on the floor, using your clothes as a cushion so that we could sleep in your beds. That was one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for us.
I am very worried about your dad. Families at our church are praying for him.
I hoped Yenny's dad was not lost. He had tried to catch rides and walk to make his way to the United States twice before. One time, he made it across the border and worked for a few months before returning home. He has family in Virginia. He asked me if Virginia is close to Canada - he was thinking of going to Canada. I drew a map of North and Central America with the states and we talked about the long distances he would need to cover. I thought maybe this would deter him, but no. He wanted a good job so he could provide for his family.
My dad came home. He is in bad shape. The coyote took his money and beat him up and left him in the desert to die. I don't know how he made it home. He can hardly move. My mom said that the whole experience made his disease much worse. He has Parkinson's disease. What if he can't work? Our uncle has a car repair shop in the north part of El Salvador and my brother went to work there. At least he is away from the gangs. Our street is bad. We can't go outside after dark. I need to go to a different school.
It was great to see you during my recent visit. It seems like your new school is very full of students. It must be difficult to concentrate when your classes meet in the common area. It's nice that you have a place outside for gym class. It was fun to be at school on the day when the government gave out shoes to the students!
After we left the community I was so surprised to see your brother standing by the road nearby. We stopped when we recognized him and I had a chance to talk with him about his work and his girlfriend. It was good that your relatives could help your dad set up the little shop by the side of the road to sell things for cars. The pastor bought a steering wheel cover and your brother installed it, which made him pretty happy. Your dad seemed a little more steady and able to speak a little more clearly. Thanks be to God the local clinic has the medicine he needs.
You are all growing up so quickly. Stay safe and listen to your mom!
Maybe big brother is in the gang, and maybe not. I couldn't tell. Hopefully Yenny's dad makes enough money so he can pay the weekly "rent" which allows him to have is store alongside the road.