• Melodie P.

Book review: In the country we love: my family divided

“Just as one moment can bring despair, it can also lead to a new beginning. A different life. A dream for moving onward and upward rather than backward.” -In The Country We Love: My Family Divided, Diane Guerrero

As an ESL teacher who works with children from around the world on a daily basis, I am constantly aware of the fact that there is so much room for me to continue to grow in the area of cultural intelligence. During the summer of 2018, I participated in a summit that included a session entitled: Hispanic Cultural Intelligence. This workshop opened my eyes to the challenges that many of my Hispanic students and their families face. I began to search for a book that would take me deeper into some of the thoughts and feelings that are a common pattern for families who cross U.S. borders with the future hope of becoming citizens. In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero was the perfect selection.

In the Country We Love is a heart wrenching account of Diane Guerrero, the daughter of Colombian immigrants, who endures the traumatic experience of losing her family and brother to deportation. Guerrero's story is raw, honest, and alarmingly common for families in the United States. The overarching fear that consumed her life is a reality for millions of individuals/families within our country.

Guerrero did not share the weight she was carrying with anyone around her until many years later. This is why Katie and I believe that exposure to a person’s narrative is so powerful and worth sharing. It creates awareness and allows us to acknowledge and grapple with these feelings of anxiety, depression, courage, and most of all hope. We recommend this book because Guerrero’s story humanizes the conversation on immigration and encourages us to look beyond the headlines and policies to see the mothers, fathers, daughters, brothers, etc. whose lives are affected daily.

Diane Guerrero is a successful television actress who stars on the series Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin (Katie and I’s personal favorite!) She volunteers with the nonprofit Immigrant Legal Resource Center, as well as with Mi Familia Vota. Her story represents the fears and hopes of millions of children in the United States.

This is a tough topic for many of us. If you would like to share any thoughts or experiences, we are here to listen. You can contact us via the contact box on our website or at proseforpeace@gmail.com.

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