Ayotzinapa: to be a journalist is to write about things that matter

I am writing this personal essay in the wake of the Ayotzinapa events that occurred in Iguala, Mexico on September 26, where 43 college students were kidnapped by military and police forces and were allegedly killed and burned by members of the drug cartel Guerreros Unidos. Yesterday, the Mexican “President” Enrique Pena Nieto left the country to travel to China and Australia with his wife and telenovela actress Angelica Rivera.

45 days later there are no students, no answers, no truth.

Since I can remember, my childhood was strongly influenced by books and all-things reading. I remember getting lost for hours while reading a huge encyclopedia I got as a birthday present. As an adult, I am now aware that my exposure to books and my love for reading shaped and influenced what I am today and my aspirations for the future. Being an avid reader, I also liked to write essays and stories, but in my teenage years I struggled to figure out what I wanted to do with writing. I remember considering studying literature or screenwriting, but there weren’t and still aren’t many well-paid jobs for freelance writers in Mexico, so I thought on studying Politics or International Relations instead, since I want to contribute to change the critical political situation my country and other countries are currently facing.

After moving to the United States two years ago to earn my college education, I decided that I wanted to be a journalist because it was a set of all the things that I liked and wanted to achieve during my college years and the rest of my career. With a journalism degree, you can write for different print publications, involve in politics, be an activist, work on TV, work for entertainment agencies, and at the same time learn and have direct access to what is currently happening in the world.

Before going to college I realized journalism is more than writing for a newspaper about timely events. Journalism is about the transmission of ideas to the public and daring to speak about things that matter and are crucial to the development of society. It’s about writing about the unheard, the unseen, the unknown and introducing these ideas and situations to people who don’t have access or aren’t directly affected by certain circumstances. Journalism is having the courage to spread knowledge and introduce new ways of thinking to the public.

After graduating, I plan on getting an internship and working for a publication in the United States for some time, however, I do plan on going back to my home country and keep contributing to make it a better place socially, politically and economically despite the current situation we are facing regarding the government, immigration and the way Mexico is perceived overseas.

Like Natalie Roterman from Latin Times said, in her article, the Ayotzinapa events in Mexico have caused outrage around the world and governments and diplomats have expressed their sympathies and indignation for what is happening in the country.

There are many estigmas and stereotypes of Mexicans and Hispanics around the world, especially in the United States, and I would like to help build a better cultural understanding about my country in other places by sharing ideas, experiences, opinions and stories about issues that matter and that are affecting that comprehension.