Carolina Hopes to be the Last

Rosa Martinez

illustration by Yasser Castellanos

HAVANA TIMES — Carolina isn’t the first woman to emigrate, and she won’t be the last. Thousands of people around the world abandon the place of their birth in search of better opportunities.

Many die trying, crossing rivers and seas on ramshackle vessels, or murdered by unscrupulous individuals they encounter as they cross the borders of this world. The fate of some is unknown.

Carolina is not the first and won’t be the last Cuban woman to leave behind her roots, her family and her country by immigrating to the United States. Many have done the same over the last fifty years. Some are able to visit their country shortly thereafter; others never set foot on the island again.

She is not the first and won’t be the last woman to leave behind her child, thinking she is doing what is best for him, believing she is building a solid future for the two of them.

She is not the first and won’t be the last to suffer the distance between two shores separated by the sea. She is not the first and won’t be the last to work hard to support a family that was left behind, to dream of the day they will be reunited, not knowing if it will ever come.

She is not the first to feel the pain of loneliness, to experience life, and death, far from those she loves. Carolina knows she is not the first to experience this, but the she prays, deep down, that she will be the last.


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