La tierra tiene memoria

The land has memory; the land remembers.

I left Venezuela when I was six; it’s part of my identity, a part that’s hard for me to access–I remember and long for the land without completely understanding it. Visiting in 2022 was logistically challenging. When I arrived, it was emotional to reconnect with my extended family and find new life in the world I’d left behind: the bull-fighting ring I played in, the backyard where I rode my bike, the view from the backseat of my godmother’s car, the retirement home where my uncle lives.

Venezuela is both beautiful and heartbreaking. As soon as I arrived, as soon as I touched the soil, so much of it came flooding back to me.