El momento en que...

Donna Lynn Munoz, University of Texas at El Paso


We’ve all experienced moments that move us in some way, moments that we’ve memorized for the rest of our lives. Some we can’t ever forget, and some we wish we could. Nonetheless, these moments are ingrained in the forever of our minds. My collection, El Momento En Que… is a compilation of snapshots of the life of a fictional character named Graciela, who is fourteen and has experienced the tremendous loss of family, sense of place, and sense of self. It is a collage of moments where she questions her life, her parents’ decisions, her relationships with those around her, and essentially, her sense of place. The snapshots begin three years after Graciela’s abuelita died, and her parents decided to pack up and move to Texas where Graciela Flores feels trapped like a butterfly in a jar, unable to breathe. Everyone and thing she loves has changed, and the traditions that made her feel safe are slowly slipping away. The story that I am going to tell in snapshots is how in America, everything feels wrong to Graciela as she watches her family slowly plant their roots in Texas soil. Her father works his fingers to the bone, her mother works for hours on end for Mrs. Constance, and her big sister, Margarita has merged into American culture seamlessly. Margarita is so in love with American culture that she does not want to be Mexican anymore. And the longer the family stays in America, the more Graciela realizes how much her dark skin, plain hair, and everything that makes her Mexican is tearing her and Margarita apart. The themes that I am exploring in my work are voice, culture, family values, culture shock, illness, and a family’s response to crisis. I investigate how a young girl experiences such a culture change, and how it impacts the family unit as well. I explore character development and how one bends and forms to their new circumstance without letting their true self go.

Subject Area

Creative writing

Recommended Citation

Munoz, Donna Lynn, "El momento en que..." (2015). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10000823.