Telling my story through Saffron

Telling my story of immigration and cultural displacement was the driving force behind the creation of the Saffron series. This little 9 year old know it all travels the world with her family. Described as hilarious, quirky and spirited Saffron was a joy to write and a great company as I was also travelling the world with my young family.

Her insights, her humour and her ability to always get into tricky situations while visiting different cultures was something that I wanted to share with young children who may have never been exposed to other cultures and customs.  Being an author/illustrator in New Zealand also  gave me the opportunity to visit many schools in the Auckland area and talk to sons and daughters of immigrant parents. It was my pleasure and delight to meet all these young children who were so welcoming of my thick Spanish  accent and so eager to share their own family stories of immigration into New Zealand.

Meet my little Saffron’s family :

These are: Sage, Mum, Star Anise and Saffron. Illustration by Victoria Martinez Azaro

Saffron in Taiwan.

Saffron eating Yum Cha

Saffron in trouble in Siena, completely lost!!!!

 

So To learn more about Saffron go here

We teach best what we need to learn…

I have been telling my immigration story for the last 22 years. In different formats and through different vehicles I have been re creating my immigration realities and supporting my own identity transformation. My self representation and self identity has been an on going process which has gone through many different stages.

However, in the process of documenting my story as a way of understanding my new surroundings and my own journey as an immigrant in New Zealand I realized that the sense of lack that was with me all the time came from the lack of belonging… a lack of community around me… a lack of family…a lack of warmth from an extended group of caring people. Realizing and accepting this truth was not easy, but as I was processing my AHA moment I was writing “The traveling sewing box project” as a way of sharing, teaching and coming together to fill that void that unfortunately happens when we leave our family and everything that is familiar to us behind.

My story is a positive story, is a story of growth, a story of transformation and appreciation. It is my mission to create safe and encouraging spaces for immigrant women to get together and support each other in their own immigration journeys while sustaining and preserving their own culture, speaking their own native language and documenting their migrating realities in an ongoing piece of cloth.

It is with great pride and appreciation that I share this video of the first “Travelling sewing box project” which was implemented in association with ALAC in Hamilton New Zealand with a wonderful group of women from Colombia.