I was born in Honduras in the early 1970s. I have been in the US since 1985. This means that I grew up in what used to be a banana plantation town called La Lima, Cortés. Now a city, La Lima is adjacent to the Ramón Villeda Morales international airport, used at that time to land heavy weaponry and machinery by the U.S. military. As a result of both the plantation operations and the military presence, I grew up in a highly militarized and volatile environment that became the eye of the storm in the Iran-Contra scandal that broke out in 1985. I grew up without freedom of press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion. Of course, given that Honduras continues to claim it is a democracy, it has never disavowed these foundational democratic rights. However, the government made it impossible then, much like it continues to do so now, to practice these inalienable rights.
I migrated to the United States not knowing a word of English and with the understanding that I would be returned to my biological mother, whom I had met once and only a few months before migration. I learned English in six months and was able to complete middle school on time. However, things did not go so well with the reunification process as if often the case with these processes and so I ended up living with different relatives until I graduated from Chelsea High School in Massachusetts. I was granted admission at Middlebury College where I graduated in 1995. I then attended SUNY at Buffalo's Program in American Studies but did not finish my coursework there after realizing that I did not really have much to contribute that actually was meaningful or correct. However, I got to be John Mohawk's research assistant. That was a gift that has never stopped enriching my life.
I returned to Chelsea, my adopted home. I spent about ten years doing various types of community projects, many of which included the use of circle process. I then went back to graduate school with the intention to harvest the lessons learned from my own individual journey as an immigrant and the work I had been involved with in community. I received a graduate degree from Goddard College, published two chapbooks of poetry and then enrolled at the Union Institute & University's Doctoral Program in Interdisciplinary Studies. I have since completed my doctoral degree.
MassCircles embodies the opportunity to extend an invitation and join the learning journeys of people who want to change the world by changing how we understand ourselves, our communities, and how we also organize ourselves. I am excited and thankful every day to have the opportunity to work with such wonderful people.