By Isabella Neri
Though immigration is a hotly discussed topic, it’s not often that we hear from the perspective of young immigrants. Fortunately, the Latin American Youth Center of D.C. (LAYC) and ShoutMouse Press have partnered to publish "Voces Sin Fronteras: Our Stories, Our Truth," a collection of young immigrants’ stories.
Voces Sin Fronteras is a graphic novel, written by 16 teenage co-authors who have separately immigrated to the United States. Each author contributed a section of the book to tell the story of their own journey.
The University of Maryland Latin American Studies Center (LASC) recently hosted three of the co-authors for a panel discussion as part of the university’s Year of Immigration. At the event, the teenagers shared their biggest influences, challenges, and experiences writing and drawing for the book.
The authors explained that they want to raise awareness about the realities of being a young immigrant, and shared a few of the lessons they have learned from their own experiences.
“I have changed a lot since I’ve been in this country. I’m stronger now,” Rosa, the author of a chapter titled Mariposa Negra, told the audience. “I have been very determined and persevered. If this door closes, you have to go to another and keep knocking … because a door is going to open.”
"Voces Sin Fronteras" can be purchased at shoutmousepress.org, where all proceeds will go to a scholarship fund for the authors and other immigrant students. More youth immigration stories are available at lylcdc.org.
Photo caption: LASC graduate students pose with the authors of "Voces Sin Fronteras" in the Global Crossroads at H.J. Patterson Hall.