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Literacy Door County Featured Student: Veronica Fernández Kahr

My name is Veronica Fernández Kahr. I was born in Cosamaloapan, Veracruz, in the central zone of the Veracruz state. 

When I was three, my father, an Engineer, due to his work, moved my family and I to Oaxaca state. I still dream of the big house that we lived on along the bank of the Papaloapan River, with exotic animals walking in the backyard, my mother reading fairy tales by the light of the candles on a stormy day, and the typical sweet, buñuelos with pinole syrup. 

When I was six-years-old, we moved to Jalapa, Veracruz. Jalapa is “The Veracruz Athens,” because of it’s incredible cultural movement. A hipster city mixed with conservative groups. I belonged to the second group, and for that reason, I went to catholic schools for girls until I turned 13-years-old. Jalapa was a very safe city with kind, compassionate and happy people. 

I was a pretty bad student in High School, but I was a voracious reader. I read a lot of authors. Nietzsche, Zola, Dostoyevski, Shakespeare, and of course, Carlos Castañeda books. I loved to take the public bus and run around the city, hang out with my artists friends in their houses, cook salads and spaghetti and talk long hours about philosophy. 

It was a tradition in the city, to go in the afternoon to the coffee shops to meet friends, and eat delicious and tasty sugar bread and a “Lechero” coffee, a typical drink from the region. 

When I was 16-years-old, my parents divorced, and I moved with my mother to her hometown, Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua. In those times Juárez was a fun city, full of the most fancy nightclubs. Saturday Night Fever was a popular dance, and a horde of teenagers, including myself, my sister and friends, hung out in the discotheques, where we danced until the next day.

I emigrated to the United States legally when I was 40, I was a former teacher for the State of Chihuahua, and I had a masters degree in Health Psychology. For that reason, as soon as I arrived, I worked very hard to learn English and to get my license as a teacher. It took a lot of years to learn English, I am still learning this beautiful language that I love almost as much as I love Spanish.

I ran away from the violence that invaded Juarez. I didn’t have peace of mind until I came here. I suffered a trauma when my cousin was murdered in Juarez, and I needed to live in peace. Peace for me and my children, peace for my mind and my spirit. 

I remarried with a Wisconsin boy, an excellent man, that I love deeply, and my life with him is a golden dream. I can say that the courage to leave my life in Mexico, leaving behind my friends, my family, the comfort of the known, was hard, but was worth it, but my dream, my true dream, is to go back again to live in my beautiful country. 

Thank you Literary center teachers for your help, your patience, your endless caring and for your trust.

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