All in Nonfiction

Amelia y yo

Rita Wirkala

Read the English translation by Elwin Wirkala

Antes de entrar a la sala de clase, formábamos fila por orden de estatura. Apenas un tantico más baja que yo, el lugar de Amelia era frente al mío. Día tras día yo le pellizcaba el cuello, y ella callaba. Mi madre era la maestra de música del pueblo. Por eso, ya a los seis años, yo tenía mis prerrogativas. Amelia era huérfana de madre y solo tenía humildad.  

Amelia and I

Translated by Elwin Wirkala

from "Amelia y yo" by Rita Wirkala

Before filing into the classroom, we would form a line by order of height. Since she was a bit shorter, Amelia was always right in front of me. Day after day I pinched her neck and she never made a sound. My mother was the town music teacher. That's why, by the age of six, I already had my privileges. Amelia had no mother. What she had was humility.

Tierra mojada

Elena Camarillo

Read the English translation by Stephanie Lawyer

Tierra mojada. Aquí en estas tierras desérticas de la Baja California Sur ya lleva 15 años y no termina de asombrarse. Nomás se baja la palanca del motor, y ya, sale agua a borbotones. Piensa en su Michoacán, donde nacieron sus hijos, criaturas que lo vieron batallar para traerles tortillas y frijoles a su mesa. La había hecho de jornalero, arriero, comerciante—como Dios le había dado licencia—pero a sus hijos nunca les faltó comida.

Wet Earth

Translated by Stephanie Lawyer

from "Tierra Mojada" by Elena Camarillo

Wet earth. Fifteen years in the desert lands of Baja California Sur and it never fails to amaze him. All you do is open the pump, and there, the water gushes up. He thinks back to Michoacán, where his little ones were born and later watched him as he struggled to put beans and tortillas on the table. He’d done it, as a farm hand, a mule driver, a trader—whatever God sent his way—and his children never went without food.