Christian Tomás Colón Garnica

My son is very noble, a great worker and very studious. I remember how impressed I was when he studied so late into the night. We’re from a family with very little resources and these teacher’s colleges are the only form that these young men can get ahead. We really don’t know what we’re going to do if they’re not alive. That would be too much for my family and I to take.

- Juan Colón

Christian Tomás Colón Garnica, the youngest of five siblings, is not like the rest of the young people from his community, La Zapoteca, an impoverished neighborhood of Tlacolula de Matamoros, Oaxaca. With few opportunities, most young adults have only two options: to begin a family very young and work to support them, or to cross the border into the United States. He dreamed of becoming a teacher: "I want to have my own students!"

 

Christian did not go to parties or dances. His days were divided between school, reading, homework and soccer. His parents define him as a disciplined, quiet, docile, and very loving boy who wants to study to be a teacher and share his knowledge. One of his greatest wishes is to be in front of a group of children, and with time, to teach at different universities.

 

The family has a plot where they grow corn, beans and squash, and Christian’s father, Juan Colón, also works as a laborer in other fields and buildings. The family’s earnings were not enough to pay for an education in Oaxaca, so Christian entered the rural normal in Ayotzinapa where he would have the opportunity to continue his studies and realize his dream. 

 

All of the disappeared normalistas come from low income families, so there have been many sacrifices along the way in the search for their missing sons; crops and health are abandoned, and income becomes nonexistent. In a profound gesture of solidarity, the residents of La Zapoteca, who are just as poor as Christian’s family, along with the local authority in Tlacolula and community members, collected money to help with the parents’ travel expenses to Chilpancingo and Iguala after attacks in Iguala. Christian’s family left behind their belongings and memories to travel to Guerrero to search for him. They will not stop looking until they find him.

Running for Ayotzinapa 43 does not accept donations. There are no fees or sales associated with the running club.

Singlets and t-shirts are provided free to runners and supporters.

We are grateful for the support and contributions of Almeida Photography, Blanka Amezkua, Gustavo Martinez, Malú Huacuja del Toro, Semillas, Somos Los Otros, Tryno Maldonado, all the runners and their families, and from so many more of you.