Name: Michelle Muñiz
YAV Year: Miami 13-14
Now: Miami, FL
What made you laugh during your YAV year?
One night we had somebody coming to fix a leak at one of our bathrooms. The guy is Colombian so he spoke Spanish with me and then I went to tell the rest of the YAVs what he was going to do. After explaining everything -in detail- I noticed everybody was staring at me. It was then when I realized I explained the whole thing in Spanish.
What’s one thing you learned?
I can completely relate with Hispanic culture, identity, music, food, etc., but when we talk about immigration status, I can’t. It was hard for me to realize the privileged position I have just because of my citizenship.
At the Detention Center I visited, a glass barrier was separating me from those who spoke my same main language. Before that, I had no idea about the depth of their struggles and fears. I could see and hear about it but it didn’t affect me. It was in that place where I felt the weight of my passport for the very first time.
While some may tell me: “that makes you appreciate what you have”, I remember I learned that gratitude shouldn’t overshadow sympathy.
A sympathy that -I pray- will break the glass.