My Road to Exile

By Michelle Quezada

HAVANA TIMES – First, let’s define the word exile: it’s finding yourself far from your place of birth whether it’s a city or nation due to the forced expatriation of a person, normally for political reasons, which explicitly denies them permission to return because if they do they face jail or death.

The beginning of a long road began for me on November 25, 2019. I left Nicaragua to seek my freedom. At 19 years old, it had never crossed my mind that I would be leaving my country to save my life. The journey lasted two days.

I went through so many things in those two days. Fear of the unknown overcame me. I had never left Central America and I had so many dreams and goals, but everything changed from one second to the next.

I left my country with a broken heart and I’ll never forget my little 5-year-old brother’s face when he said goodbye to me, as well as my mother’s face. My close family circle is very small and I left a huge void in my home, leaving everything I knew and loved. But I knew that my life was in danger in my country.

I was on the plane with thousands of thoughts and questions. I didn’t know anything, I only knew that I had to reach my destination in one piece. I was frozen and tired when I got there, I felt like my body couldn’t go on anymore, I needed to sleep. I reached my destination and I thanked Life. 

I began my asylum application and it was something that frightened me terribly. However, I also felt safe from the fear I felt in Nicaragua. I didn’t feel like I did walking down Nicaragua’s streets.

Many people comment that I’m so young to have the political problems that led me to seek exile in this country. Nordics here in Norway wonder Why? 

Such a long journey. It was the only place I have family, I have an uncle here. He was a student like me and had peacefully protested in Nicaragua, in April 2018. So, when things got worse for me, I decided to travel to Norway to go through the asylum process together. Life as a refugee is very hard and having mutual support would be good.

I hoped to be able to restart my life after everything was snatched from me in my country. It’s the only thing that keeps me fighting every day, every day is a challenge for me. It’s been a tiring and exhausting road, but I have tried to keep calm and hold onto the faith that everything will soon pass.

Read more from Michelle Quezada’s diary here on Havana Times.

Michelle Quezada

I am a 20-year-old Nicaraguan girl. I describe myself as a happy, sociable person with dreams and defined goals. I want to study environmental engineering and I also really like fashion design, two totally different things. I grew up knowing that dreams can be achieved if we are dedicated and fighters. My life has taken some unexpected turns; I'll be telling you about that.