Dear International Family Magazine Readers,
IF mag Founder, Editor and Owner
Marta and her America – a sequel, 10 years later
oday, I visit Marta in her living room in Miami where she is now semi-retired. I say semi-retired because I know there is another vocation left in her. Over the last 10 years since I wrote the first article on Marta, she and I have spent many days together as friends. At some point early in our friendship, I asked if Marta would be the godmother of my first born son, Jax. I knew that someone with the courage, and strength to challenge an evil dictator such as Castro, could teach my son how to be strong and true to himself. So, although Marta sometimes wonders what her next vocation will be, I am clear that she is still a valuable storyteller for the world.
Each time Marta speaks, my two young alpha sons who quiet for nobody, sit very still and wait for the magic to unfold from their “Gammy”. When she tells her stories to them, they are the exact parables of wisdom that my sons need at that time. If Marta can do that for my young children, then she is of course the voice needed for many. Marta is of course the voice of the many “martitas” that have not been heard by the world yet. Marta is the voice of her Cuba in her America. She is the voice of the Latina woman who broke the gender ceiling as a minority in her new America. Marta is the voice of the Latina that refuses to act small or try to fit in. Gammy is the voice of women everywhere in her America that still juggle their strength and their beauty as though they are at odds, for Marta they complement always. She is the voice of success in the face of cynicism, prejudice, and terrible odds. Martita was a tiny 15 year old little girl that just wanted to stay in her country and order her Qunicenera party dress. Instead she let her mother sew money into the buttons of a new dress that would survive the travel of continent, harsh seas, and strangers.
The story of Martita’s success is the story of many of our fellow Americans’ stories. Our families came from potato farms, fishing villages, overcrowded foreign cities, refugee camps, orphanages, prisons, small towns, and even houseboats, to learn something to make themselves useful in their new America and to find freedom. We are all immigrants, except the Native American, of course. Sometimes we bring with us a trade that we knew from our former homelands. Much of what is rich in these United States of America is either the distinctive crafts coming from certain countries, or the blending of many cultures into a style that is uniquely Americana. Marta brought her family’s generous heart, and brilliant minds, and worked her way up through the financial district of New York, then Boston, and finally her retiring city of Miami where it all began. When little Martita showed up in the port of Miami many, many years ago, she stood in front of the Miami’s Freedom Tower and thanked God and a priest for her safety. She stood with her tiny arms against her hips and dared her new America.
So in this 10 year retrospective look back at International Family Magazine from when it began in 2006 with my two young sons crawling around my feet playing, Marta embodies the spirit of the international citizen and the stories that we need to keep alive. As important as it is to come to a new country and learn its ways and language, it is critical to keep the culture, languages and customs of the many countries that make up Marta’s America, our America. If International Family Magazine continues, it will be because there are so many stories left to tell.
Click here to read the English version of
"Little Marta and her Cuba".
Haga clic aquí para leer la versión española de la pequeña "Marta y su Cuba".