Dreams and Nightmares

SKU: 978-1-60235-939-0

I Fled Alone to the United States When I Was Fourteen

Liliana Velásquez
Edited and translated by Mark Lyons

Working and Writing for Change (A Parlor Press Imprint)
Edited by Steve Parks and Jess Pauszek

Information and Pricing
978-1-60235-939-0 (paperback, $22.95), 978-1-60235-940-6 (PDF on CD, $14.00; coming in August, 2017) © 2017 by New City Community Press. 212 pages in full color, in both English and Spanish.

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In the News

Watch Liliana Velásquez discuss Dreams and Nightmares. Al Día News (I Am an American Immigrant campaign)

Dreams and Nightmares named a Finalist for Indie Book Awards in the Young Author category (2018). See http://www.indiebookawards.com/winners/list

"Pa. aid society honors young immigrant author for courage, determination." Michael Matza. WHYY. 23 April 2018.


At fourteen, Liliana Velásquez walked out of her village in Guatemala and headed for the U.S. border, alone. On her two-thousand-mile voyage she was robbed by narcos, rode the boxcars of La Bestia, and encountered death in the Sonoran Desert. When she was caught by Immigration in Arizona, she thought her journey was over. But it had just begun.

A los catorce años, Liliana abandonó su pueblo en Guatemala y se dirigió hacia la frontera de los Estados Unidos, sola. En su viaje de dos mil millas fue asaltada por los narcos, viajó en los vagones de La Bestia y se enfrentó a la muerte en el desierto de Sonora. Cuando fue capturada por Inmigración en Arizona, ella pensó que su viaje había terminado. Pero solo acababa de empezar.

What People Are Saying

While Immigrants' stories are often told by others, Liliana shares her personal experience of vulnerability, resilience and perseverance in the face of uncertainty. She is a strong and remarkable woman.

Mientras que las historias de los inmigrantes son generalmente contadas por terceros, Liliana comparte su propia historia personal, su capacidad recuperativa y su perse­verancia en medio de mucha incertidumbre. Ella es una mujer fuerte y extraordinaria.
                 — María Sotomayor, DACA recipient, Youth Organizer, Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition

Stories like Liliana's counter the inhumane narratives that cast migrants and refugees as "drug dealers and rapists," and instead offer US audiences a perspective infused with the genuine human experience of migration.

Historias como la de Liliana contradicen a las historias des­humanizantes en las que se equipara a los inmigran­tes y refugiados con "narcotraficantes y violadores". La historia de Liliana ofrece al público estadounidense una perspectiva imbuida de una experiencia migratoria genuina­mente humana.
                 —Aja Y. Martinez, PhD, Syracuse University

Liliana's story is heartbreakingly ordinary, similar to tens of thousands of children who have fled violence, abuse, and extreme poverty, only to suffer further hardship at the hands of a US government that treats them as threats rather than child survivors of trauma.

La historia de Liliana es dolorosamente común, similar a la de decenas de miles de niños que han huido de la violencia, el abuso y la pobreza extrema, sólo para sufrir más adver­sidades a manos del gobierno de los E. U. que los trata como si fueran una amenaza y no como a niños sobre­vivientes de un trauma.
                            — Jonathan Blazer, Advocacy and Policy Counsel for Immigrants' Rights, American Civil Liberties Union


Introduction by Mark Lyons
I           Guatemala
Villaflor ◆ I Can't Take It Anymore
II          My Journey
Preparation ◆ Chiapas ◆ The Beast ◆ Oaxaca ◆ The Police Stop Us ◆ Mexico City ◆ Finally: Altar and the Border ◆ Captured ◆ House of Dreams
III         Philadelphia
My First Foster Family ◆ La Puerta Abierta / 
The Open Door ◆ My New Family ◆ Green
Card! ◆ My New House of Dreams ◆ My New High School ◆ Two Birthday Parties ◆ Thanksgiving ◆ Christmas ◆ My Quilt ◆ My Boyfriend ◆
The Return of the Coyote ◆ I Visit My Brothers ◆ An Adult Once Again ◆ My Second Visit to My Brothers ◆ Helping My Family in Guatemala
IV         Reflections
I Got Rid of My Fear ◆ Now I Have Two Families ◆ Fulfilling My Dreams
V          Finally, I Have Told My Story

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