Anywhere in the world 

Translated by  Marvin Najarro The alarm rings insistently, Cheyo turns and look askance at it, tired, he wants to keep sleeping, it has been just three hours since he got home; he has worked all day, he wants to sleep, nothing more, it has been many year since he does not sleep more than four hours, and not because he does not want to, but because he cannot; the pace of work does not allow him that.  The back pains have taken their toll on him, and the toothache torments his head, he can barely chew and every time that…

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The Little Pine Tree

Translated  by Katrina Hassan The Little Pine Tree became a point of reference for giving directions in my hometown of Ciudad Peronia. “Two blocks from the little pine, up the road from the little pine, down the road from it, the houses in front of it, the houses closest to it, the little pine bus stop or drop off.  The Little Pine or “El Pinito” was a tree that survived the division into lots of our neighborhood back in the late 1980s. When that happened, the plains near the local hamlets of El Calvario, La Ceiba and the residential neighborhood of…

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Victorina’s Journey

Translated  by Katrina Hassan When Victoriana came to, she was already perched upon an inner tube crossing the Bravo River. The screams of other migrants brought her back to her senses. What time was it? One or two a.m? How could one know if the sky was dark and cloudy? It could even be 3 a.m, time for the rooster’s call in her native Honduras. Not the cold or the almost frozen temperature of the water could stun the senses of the surrounding commotion of seeing so many terrified families. They didn’t know how to swim and they were trying to…

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The Nostalgia of Hilarión 

Translated by  Marvin Najarro It was three in the afternoon when he finished work at his second job; he had worked from five to ten in the morning in a furniture factory cutting wood; from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. he works his second job, cleaning offices. In his way for the third job where he works as a busboy in a Lebanese restaurant, he stops at a Mexican supermarket to send his weekly remittance to his family in San Sebastian, Retalhuleu, Guatemala. It is Sunday, but where he lives, he works seven days a week, no matter what.  A…

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In the Morning of Black Ice 

Translated by  Marvin Najarro She leaves work, it’s around six in the evening, that day she cleaned two houses, the last one took her longer than usual because her Iranian employers had a Christmas celebration; a late Christmas they celebrate on January 7 in the Julian calendar as it has been explained to her by the house mistress in countless occasions when in the middle of her mopping chores she appear to tell her stories about her country and ancestors. Tomasina lets her talk while she mops incessantly; she barely understands English.   When she arrived she found the house turned…

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January 1st, Just Like Any Another Day

Translated  by Katrina Hassan Catalina buys the chicken first thing in the morning, together with the vegetables that will accompany the dish. She also buys the fruit to make punch. She would like to make tamales but it is too much work to do on her own. When Catalina finishes work she is too tired. She barely has any energy left to clean her small apartment, where she lives with her two kids. Juan is 12 and Guadalupe is 3. Today she must go to the laundromat because her building doesn’t have a laundry room. She is running late to prepare…

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Xiomara Castro, the Rebirth of Honduras

Translated by  Marvin Najarro Painful have been the humiliations suffered by the undocumented Central American migrants trying to cross Mexico to reach the United States, seeking to escape the institutional violence of the narco-state, namely Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The notorious Northern Triangle that opportunistic politicians toss around in their speeches on behalf of the transnational corporations, which in exchange for some crumbs they throw around, sack the entrails of the land, destroying what it doesn’t belong to them but to the peoples who have been reviled for centuries.    Victims of corruption, impoverished and mistreated, these people have been…

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Hating Cuba Just for the Sake of It

Translated by  Marvin Najarro We, the generation of amnesia, the useless herd of children who grew up in Latin American post-dictatorship, were left with nothing but the bagasse. They took the books away from us, the musical education, art classes, and physical education. All at once we were left with no school yard, they left us without desks, ceilings, and finally without schools; in these countries plundered by mobs of ungrateful sons who dared to spit out the bowels where they came out. And then one day, they left us without a home.  Consequently, thirsty, we absorbed the gall of betrayal…

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