‘I am proud that I can take care of my family’
Magdalena is 29 years old and lives in a rural neighborhood in Puerto Escondido. Over dirt roads we drive up to her simple but cozy house where she lives with her daughter and mother. Family life is important to the Mexicans and is mostly lived outside. We pass a colorful church and small shops selling cigarettes, chips and sweets. Elderly women sit in the shade on a porch chatting with each other and children play in the streets with the many dogs and chickens. Magdalena is Catholic, but doesn’t go to church often. She does try to teach her daughter while growing up the most important values she learnt as a Catholic, to take responsibility for your life, respect and love each other.
What does happiness mean to you?
Happiness to me is to be with the people that you love and to be loved by them in return. Next to that it brings me joy and makes me proud that I am able to take care of my family on my own.
What is your background?
I was born in Puerto Escondido where I finished my high school. My mom has always been a housewife and my dad worked in construction. We have a big family with six brothers and six sisters. So when I was eleven I started working to make some extra money. I helped an old lady clean her house and I kept her company. My childhood was a happy one. During my last year in high school I met my boyfriend, we both went to Oaxaca City to study, where we started to date and finally moved in together. During that time my dad past away, which had a huge impact on my life. He was the one that always motivated me to study more and I felt less passionate about it. A year and a half in my relationship I got pregnant. My boyfriend left me because he couldn’t face the responsibility of a child. I stayed alone behind struggling to make money. I was studying and dealing with my pregnancy. In the fifth month of my pregnancy it was too much so I quit my studies and moved back to my mom in Puerto Escondido. I have been living with her ever since. My daughter sees her father three times a year and only wants to go with him because he bribes her with presents. It’s natural but I do have a sting of jealousy when she goes off with him.
Where do you stand in life?
I am in a very happy place in my life. My daughter is now six years old, I have a good cleaning and cooking job and I am proud that I can take care of my family and we are all healthy.
Are you familiar with the 30 years dilemma?
For me turning 30 is the same as turning any other age. My friends do say to me ‘come on you are thirty and you are alone, get yourself a man’. But I am happy about my life and the way it is.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Do you have a dream?
If anything was possible I would love to finish my study, so I could get a better paid job. With that money I would support my daughter to have a better life.
What wise lesson did your parents teach you?
My dad always pushed me to study, so I could find a good job and be independent.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
My advice would be no advice. If I would do it all over again I would do everything the same. I love my daughter and the life that we have together.
When was your last moment of happiness?
A couple days ago my daughter came home with excellent grates from school. I was really proud of her at that moment.
Under The Same Sun is een lang lopende reisreportage die je kunt volgen op onze reis- en lifestyle blog Meet You at the Bridge. De reportage laat overeenkomsten en verschillen zien in wat gelukkig zijn betekent voor vrouwen tussen de 25 en 35 jaar afkomstig uit diverse culturen.
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