Born in Mexico City, Mexico |
After getting married, Martha left Mexico to be with her husband in Texas and there, hoping for a better life, they applied for permanent residency in Canada. Martha had only been to Toronto once and they didn’t know anyone here except for a couple who ended up becoming their ‘adoptive’ parents. The whole experience “was a huge adventure” as they drove, in a van, from Texas to Toronto with their two year old twin daughters, their two pugs and a cat. When they finally crossed the border, no words can describe the feeling – such relief, and the air felt full of hope. Martha says her dreams have slowly come to fruition here. She has friends who are now like family in Toronto, and her children are being raised with the Canadian values of tolerance, respect, and acceptance of others.
“This is my home because I feel comfortable here, I can be who I am, without any pretense, without feeling I have to impress anyone… which was not the case at home in Mexico.”
In addition to raising her three children, Martha works as a part-time professor at York University where she teaches Spanish, Translation and Literature as well as Creative Writing in Spanish at the U of T’s School of Continuing Studies. Martha is also a published author in Spanish, and her award-winning novella The Wolf’s Mouth was translated into English and published in Canada. She is now striving to write and publish in her second language.
Toronto as Home
Martha is standing outside Roy Thomson Hall’s box office. She comes from a very musical family and grew up listening to classical music. Her father is a symphony orchestra conductor and her mother is a concert pianist. When she goes to a music hall like Roy Thomson, she says she feels whole and at home. It moves her, Martha says.
“It’s my past, it’s my present, and the future I want to give my children. I have instilled in them a love for classical music and I’m proud of it.”
Connection with the Past
Martha is holding one of her father’s earliest recordings. He founded the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra, the same year she was born. Her childhood was enriched by the presence of classical music, and when she was old enough to have a record player, the first LPs she listed to were her father’s. This particular LP has a recording of Moncayo’s Huapango, a piece that most Mexicans consider to be “a second national anthem”. She says her father’s version of Huapango is considered one of the best available, and whenever she hears it she feels proud of him, her country, and his legacy.