I want to grow up to be someone in life
- Abel García Hernández
Abel García Hernández is one of seven children of María Micaela Hernández and Celso García Aristeo. The family lives in Tecuantepec, which is located in the Municipality of Tecoanapa, Guerrero. Don Celso is a masonry worker and grows corn, beans, pumpkin seeds and Jamaica. The family eats what they harvest, and Abel’s mother sells the extra at the market in town.
As a child Abel liked to play marbles, run down to the river and chase the donkeys, and play tricks on his brother Oscar. He sings, plays the guitar, and enjoys basketball. He is a loving and caring son and brother, who always looks forward to spending time with his nephews, who call him “Nito,” an affectionate abbreviation of little brother. Abel keeps a notebook in which he draws and writes his thoughts and dreams: “The impossible will take me a long time, but I will succeed.”
Abel decided to enter Ayotzinapa to become a teacher and help his father with the expenses of the house. He speaks Tu'un savi and is proud of his indigenous identity; for that reason he desired to study to become a bilingual teacher. He said: "I am never going to feel shame and I will make sure no one laughs at those who speak Mixtec. I want to teach children to feel pride in their language, to be indigenous.”
Doña María Micaela understands Spanish but does not speak it. On October 21, 2014 she dictated the following letter to her daughter Veronica:
October 21, 2014
Letter to my dear son: Abel García Hernández
Dear son, Today, when you are not with me, I feel a pain so great that I can not explain it in words. I think my heart is getting smaller and little by little I feel how it is tearing inside me."
Every time I look at your photo I remember that day you were born on June 15, 1995, today a 19-year-old with enormous hope of becoming the great teacher you always dreamed of.
I remember when you left, full of life and with joy in your face when you went to the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, to realize your dream of giving your parents a better life.
Since that day you left I am still waiting for you, son, and I know that these tears I cry in the end will be the price for seeing you back home son: to see you eat your favorite food the cocolmeca that you climbed the hill for so that I could stew it for you.
Son, they say that you are missing along with fellow students of yours: today marks 25 days that we do not know anything about you and they are the same days: I have been unable to sleep and cannot eat. Every day I ask God for my son to come back and I trust in his infinite mercy so that you will return to my side.
Since you are not here, your father has not stopped looking for you and he asks for and demands that you come back alive.
There is no bigger pain like the one I feel and if someone believes that because we are poor and humble we have no feelings, I tell them that this pain is killing me slowly.
I would like to know where you are to run and save your life, no matter if it takes mine.
Finally, son, I want to tell you that your people are searching, your people claim you and we live with the hope of seeing you again.
I say goodbye to you son, hoping for God to take care of you and protect you and return you alive to your humble home in Tecoantepec, municipality of Tecoanapa, Gro.
Your mother who loves you… Maria Micaela Hernández