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StoryCorps is returning — virtually this time — to Austin. The StoryCorps Military Voices Initiative invites you to honor a veteran in your life by listening to their stories. Recordings will run from June 14 - 25, and reservations can be made here.StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative is made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Good Friends On Leaving Nuevo Laredo, Making A New Home And Working For Justice

The StoryCorps mobile booth was in Austin in January, and we’re bringing you some of the stories that were recorded there. Locally recorded stories will air on Monday mornings during Morning Edition and archived here.

La cabina de sonido de StoryCorps vino a Austin en Enero. A partir de Enero hemos estado sacando algunas de las historias que se grabaron ahí.

Larisa Dávila llegó a la cabina de StoryCorps junto con su hijito de 6 meses.  Ahí se reunieron con una buena amiga de Larisa que se llama Alma Gloria. Mientras Alejandrito jugaba con su sonaja, las mujeres platicaron de su infancia en Nuevo Laredo y de sus sueños. Una anhelaba salir de Nuevo Laredo, mientras la otra anhelaba cambiar el mundo. Ambas están hacienda sus sueños realidad en Austin.

Larisa Dávila and her 6 month-old son Alejandro sat down in the StoryCorps mobile booth with Larisa’s good friend Alma Gloria. As baby Alejandro played with his rattle toy, the women talked about growing up in Nuevo Laredo and about their dreams. One desperately wanted to leave Nuevo Laredo, the other, desperately wanted to change the world. Their dreams are coming true in Austin.

This interview was conducted in Spanish, but for our non-Spanish speaking listeners, a full English translation is available below.

Larisa Dávila: My name is Larisa Dávila and I’ve been Alma’s friend since  – uf! – (a long time ago)

Alma Gloria: My name is Alma Gloria, and we met in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas.

Larisa Dávila: To put this into context, Nuevo Laredo is the Southern part or – say – the Mexican side of Laredo, Texas.

Alma Gloria: We had the luxury of having idyllic childhoods. We were very much isolated from everything else that was going on around us.

Larisa Dávila: True. But, my experience was different because from the time I was a little girl I wanted to leave (Nuevo) Laredo. I grew up knowing what was considered a successful adult life. I knew I was expected to grow up and get married and have a family. But, at a young age, I knew I didn’t fit with those parameters. I didn’t fit with the expectation that I was to stay in (Nuevo) Laredo. When you and I met I had failed to leave for university. I had thought that was my chance to leave. And I had almost given up hope. I had almost committed to the idea of staying (whimpers). And, soon after, it was funny, it was with you that we came here in 2007, remember?

Alma Gloria: Yes. Yes, I remember.

Larisa Dávila: We came for SXSW. And, that’s when I told myself: “The next time I’m in Austin, I’ll have all my luggage. (I’m moving here).” Oh!

Alma Gloria: Oh, I remember.

Larisa Dávila: Perhaps it’s not the way I’d planned it but I am heading towards the story I wanted. And the most beautiful thing is that we are doing this together.

Alma Gloria: I know. When I came up with my own mindset, my mind was a little bit closed. For instance, I had never mingled with people of a different social class – that’s something I can now say. But, now – as you know – I want to bring down every system that bounds people, systems that perpetuate injustice.

Larisa Dávila: And, why is this so important to you? (Baby, rattling toy)

Alma Gloria: (Baby, rattling toy) Because, ever since I can remember, I cannot stand idle in the face of injustice. I’ve always seen myself as a “defender.” Don’t ask me why. I don’t know why. But, I do believe that the root of many types of injustice – for instance the role of women in society or the place of violence in society and other challenges – come from a material root, an economic root. We created an economic system based on injustice. And, that’s where I am, in the fight against these systems.

Larisa Dávila: (Baby, rattling toy) Well, I believe that as long as you plant love and harbor good relationships among people you will always harvest love and good relationships.

This piece was produced for KUT by Joy Diaz with interviews recorded at StoryCorps, a national nonprofit with a mission to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs the opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories of our lives. 

Thank you to our sponsors of StoryCorps' visit to Austin: Cap Metro and We Are Blood  

Mike is the production director at KUT, where he’s been working since his days as an English major at the University of Texas. He produces Arts Eclectic, Get Involved, and the Sonic ID project, and also produces videos and cartoons for When pressed to do so, he’ll write short paragraphs about himself in the third person, but usually prefers not to.
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