Narrative of the Captivity of Yazmin Juarez


On the first of March 2018, I fled Guatemala with mi hija, Mariee. I was twenty-years old when the domestic violence and poverty had become unbearable in my house. I understood that I needed to protect mi hija, and I knew a friend that would help me cross the border to America.


I woke up early in the morning to converge with my caravan. We traveled through the Rio Grande in a raft with a dozen others. The river was cold and the raft was crowded. Everybody had a solemn expression, holding their loved one’s tight. I held mi hija closer. The cross was difficult.


We were detained by la migra four days after our travel, and transported to the South Texas Family Residential Center. They arranged mi hija and I in a room with five other mothers and their children. The mothers were exhausted and the children were indisposed. One boy was lethargic with a constant cough, and he was denied medical treatment by la migra.


On the eleventh of March, mi hija was diagnosed with bronchitis. I begged la migra to administer her medicine, and they gave me Tylenol and honey. The next morning, mi hija had a fever. Her condition continued to deteriorate in the following four days. I became hysterical; I did not want to lose mi hija.


La migra transferred us to New Jersey on the twenty-fifth of March. Mi hija was committed to the emergency room, where she received medical attention from los gringos; but, it was too late.


Mi hija departed to heaven on May 10, 2018. She was nineteen months old, five months from her second birthday. She died from bronchiectasis, pneumonitis and a collapsed lung. Eight weeks after her first symptoms, she endured her miserable condition – unable to breath – without medical assistance. Three days before Mother’s Day, I departed from the hospital with a handprint of mi hija and sorrow in my heart. I questioned the inhumanness of los gringos, and an anger broke my heart. I traveled to America to protect mi hija from the violence in Guatemala; but los gringos murdered mi hija.


For my Creative Writing Project, I used the Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson to explore the image of the mother that has lost their child. The image of the mother emerges in numerous accounts – Beloved by Toni Morrison. I wanted to examine the image of the mother in other race, class and time periods. I decided to investigate a contemporary image of the mother, and concluded to the migrant mothers of detained children. However, I did not want to manufacture a mother, therefore, I constructed a captivity narrative based on the true story of Yazmin Juarez, a migrant mother escaping from the domestic violence in her Guatemalan home with her one year old daughter, who dies from the neglect of the ICE. The form and diction is inspired by Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative, using the “removes” and dates. Moreover, I incorporate the Spanish words, mi hija, la migra, and los gringos to illustrate her and her daughter and the others. After the third remove, the mother refers to la migra as los gringos after her daughter’s conditions deteriorate as a criticism to demonstrate that, her daughter died not because of the immigration officers; but because of the American people who watched complacently. Through creating my contemporary rendition of the Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, I have demonstrated the power of the image of the mother and critiqued the present political environment of America.

5 thoughts on “Narrative of the Captivity of Yazmin Juarez

  1. Pingback: Surveying the Literature of Power | English Literature of the Long Eighteenth Century (1660-1837) Gone Global

  2. What an inspiring and thought provoking post. The most original idea here is that you incorporated something that is a big issue right now into this creative post. It really pushes people to think about what immigrants face in the detention centers. Maybe you can include what these problems mean for the future. Once we are gone, will these problems still be here? If so, what could be different?


  3. I find that this is a very powerful piece of literature that reflects many issues that are happening within our modern society right this instance. This is amazing at how the emotion just surges within the soul of the reader. I think this could be improved if maybe there was more use of the Spanish language within the text.


  4. An amazing parody that communicates the struggle of a young women and her child. I enjoyed that it reflected on the experiences of immigrants in detention centers specifically the story of Yasmin Juarez. It is a strong use of parody and I would not change anything about it.


  5. I love how sentimental this post is and how you kept the Spanish words rather than translating them it definitely added to the phrase “literature of power”. This was a powerful and heartfelt read, very modernized and gives a sense of what is going on right now.
    -Carmen Ibarra


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s