Faith and Fiestas

Monica Martinez just turned 18, but she doesn’t want to leave home, and isn’t particularly keen on growing up. Monica, her mother, father and younger sister, all moved to Mexico, Mo. from El Salvador when she was a little girl, and the family wants everything to stay as it is.

Still, she’s had to do grown up things. Since she was in elementary school, she has been translating English for her family and people in her community, and regularly gets called to the hospital or to court to help out. Because her family once needed the same help translating, she won’t take money for it.

Monica says her family and church are the most important things for her, and that she loves the peace and quiet of small-town life. It’s no surprise that Mexico is appealing, since her house is often bustling with family and friends on the weekends, and parties are the rule, not the exception.

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