Nellely Azpeitia, Editor-in-Chief

Photo by Aalyna Silva
Nellely Azpeitia explains her home struggles and plans to give solace to future generations through writing — something she never had.

I will write to those who can feel divided by their heritage and sometimes lose themselves in their anger.”

— Nellely Azpeitia

I have always loved reading. I used it to escape from my hardships as a young girl. Especially in my early teen years, I read about girls with blonde hair, blue eyes, and a moderate mansion. They all shared similar characteristics, they could have all been best friends if they lived in the same universe — happy and unaware. I loved them regardless and a single story formed for the rest of the novels I read, even in school: girls who depended on boys, girls who fell for bad boys, women who were deemed insane for their grief, and women in literature who all in some way were oppressed. I never read stories about girls who looked like me or who spoke Spanish, sometimes they spoke French because it was sophisticated, but never characters with authentic Latino traits. I desire to write novels that represent every young girl despite their background so a single story does not remain with them for their entire lives. I want to bring my Mexican culture to life, the dark side of it and the bright vibrant parts as well; I want to touch upon the poverty but the liveliness of the people; I want to portray the dangers and the beauty of it equally; and I want to provide strength through it all the same. As a young teenager with intermixed cultures, I will write to those who can feel divided by their heritage and sometimes lose themselves in their anger.

The comprehension of mental health in Mexican culture is far behind, it is often described as laziness. I began to develop symptoms for two disorders when I was in elementary school, which my parents saw as grief for the death of my uncle. In middle school, they called it timidness. In high school, I realized it was depression and anxiety; however, even then I chose to ignore it for the sake of my parents. In 2018, I opened up to my parents who grew up in very different circumstances, so they were clueless about what depression meant. I’ve tried to explain and educate them, sometimes it truly appears they understand, other times they are angered by it. A few weeks ago my mother informed me that I was not to give any more problems to the family, which meant I couldn’t talk about being depressed. Not only is it so suppressed in Mexican culture, but there is a widespread feeling of embarrassment with all forms of disorders, including eating disorders among teens. As someone who endures the difficulties of a mental illness or disorder, I want to write in a way that could help and deliver hope to the youth. I want to write plotlines that are intriguing to students for their leisure reads and educational for those who are ignorant of these struggles. I want for those suffering to understand they don’t stand alone and that it is not shameful. I want to write stories about boys and girls reaching out for help, pushing through the pain — winning as powerful humans.