The JanTerm Experience: The Wishes Project

Photo caption: Karina Gonzalez transcribing interviews and editing audio of parents’ wishes for their children for a Spanish honors independent study. Photo by Scarlet Kenagy

By Karina Gonzalez

“Caminante, no hay puentes. Se hace puentes al andar,”

– Gloria Anzaldúa

My month has been a reflection of Anzaldúa’s statement, as I have heard mothers’ stories of the bridges they built and the paths they walked to arrive with their children to where they stand today.

For JanTerm I have had the privilege of interning with a nonprofit organization in a collaborative effort to audio record Spanish-speaking mothers’ personal narratives and wishes for their children. I have been condensing and then editing each of these narratives into a cohesive story for the mothers to gift to their children when they grow older, if they so choose.

The idea was born from the desire to provide children with a tangible depiction of their mother’s deepest dreams and wishes for them. The intention was also to provide children with a snapshot into the relationship between parent and child at a developmental point that they will not cognitively remember.

The recorded stories, as a result, serve as preserved narratives of values and wishes for those who have chosen to participate. The project, known as the Wishes Project to the organization I am working with, is also the focus of my Spanish honors independent study.

I analyze values illustrated through mothers’ dreams for their children. These align with Anzaldúa’s words, their stories an echo of the bridges they’ve built with hope and profound love for their children.

It has been an honor hearing their stories and how they hope to be remembered. I am thoroughly excited to delve into the analysis of these dreams, to give the recordings to the families and to continue this project into the coming semester.

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