Andrea Avilés Oral History, 2020/11/14


Title (Dublin Core)

Andrea Avilés Oral History, 2020/11/14
Andrea Avilés: Coping Amongst Crisis

Description (Dublin Core)

Andrea Avilés is an International Student from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. From borders closing in March to Hurricane Eta causing catastrophic damage, Andrea shares about how she copes, stays connected to her family, and above all, positive through such difficult times.

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Type (Dublin Core)

oral history

Controlled Vocabulary (Dublin Core)

Curator's Tags (Omeka Classic)

Contributor's Tags (a true folksonomy) (Friend of a Friend)

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Exhibit (Dublin Core)

#CoverYourFangs>Diverse Voices

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Date Created (Dublin Core)


Interviewer (Bibliographic Ontology)

Sofia Soto

Interviewee (Bibliographic Ontology)

Andrea Avilés

Location (Omeka Classic)


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Duration (Omeka Classic)


abstract (Bibliographic Ontology)

Andrea Avilés is an International Student from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. From borders closing in March to Hurricane Eta causing catastrophic damage, Andrea shares about how she copes, stays connected to her family, and above all, positive through such difficult times.

Transcription (Omeka Classic)

Sofia Soto 0:00
Hello, my name is Sofia Soto, and today I'll be interviewing Andrea Avilés. So hi, Andrea, tell us a little bit about yourself, please.

Andrea Avilés 0:10
Hi, Sofia. Thank you for inviting me to be part of your interview. My name is Andrea. I am 22 years old. I am from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. And I am a senior at UTSA. I am graduating this semester, I went to St. Mary's, from 2016 to 2019. And I am currently a public health major.

Sofia Soto 0:36
Fantastic. What would you say has been one of the toughest challenges that you've had to overcome throughout this time?

Andrea Avilés 0:45
I think that the toughest thing was the sense of instability. And normally throughout my years here at college, I have had a plan of finishing a class and finishing my classes as strong as I can, and then going home, seeing my family kind of recharging on that sense. And coming back and doing the same thing over and over. And this semester was different because I had no idea when I was able- when I was going to be able to go home. And the scary thing is, you know life goes on and school went on and teachers kept putting assignments and you kind of just have to shake it off and know that you have to prioritize what you're doing now. And so I had to learn how to just live day by day without thinking about what's going to happen next week, next month, or when I'll be able to go home, when- when it's going to feel normal again. And I had to just focus on what I had to focus on. And getting to that point, I think was very hard. I think that you have to learn how to put your feelings aside and just think what your priorities are at that moment. And in a way, I think that, you know, everything that came with COVID, there was many negative things. But I think it did make me stronger in that way. I was able to learn how to separate what I- what my heart was feeling and what I had to do.

Sofia Soto 2:09
What would you say to other international students who are going through the same thing?

Andrea Avilés 2:15
I would tell them to just hold on. I would tell them to try not to focus on everything that's missing. Try not to focus on the negatives that are happening around us. Try not to focus on the uncertainty that that comes with, not knowing when you'll be able to go home and just getting everything that you- you know, like making everything that's surrounding you right now, your focus. So I definitely think that the friends that you have around you, the people that you have around you like that you care about, hold on to them make relationships, make your little second home away from home, something that's actually stable, because you never really know when things like this are going to happen. For example, right now, Honduras was hit by Hurricane Etta, and it's on- another hurricane is on its way. So who knows if Christmas is going to be some some time where we're going to be able to go home again. And we can't let things like that that are out of our control make us feel uncertain because things happen, life happens. So I would just say, hold on to what you have here. Make it your own. And always know that dates are just dates and that your family's always going to be your family, and thank God for technology right now. Just make the best out of it. Keep in contact, make sure that you're checking in, make sure that you feel like you're close to them even if you're not physically there.
Andrea Avilés 0:01
Everything is kind of crazy over there. But thank God My family is doing okay. It definitely was a very devastating- it was very devastating news. Especially being here away from home not being able to see it firsthand. You know, seeing all the pictures and videos it- it obviously hurt a lot to see your home literally underwater. But thank God my family's okay. And regardless of that, it's still my country. And I still wanted to feel like I could help in some way. And it was very hard being away, you know, like being able to not being able to be there and volunteer, seeing my friends volunteering and not being able to do that firsthand. And like I've said before, being away doesn't mean that you have to be disconnected. So I was able to connect with some friends that I had here from Honduras. And we were able to gather many donations from people that were here in San Antonio, we were able to spread awareness through social media. We were able to share a GoFundMe link that my friends back home started. And thank you to like everyone that helped. We're right now at $268,000, and it’s going to all of the people that have been affected by the hurricane. And it definitely will play a very big and important role with COVID spread. Everyone right now is just focused on surviving. And that means they lost their home, they don't have masks, they don't have money to buy masks, they don't have social distancing right now. So the country will be hit by a very large increase of COVID cases. And so that's something that obviously scares everyone and the population. But I just think that definitely Honduras is going through a very hard moment right now. And as international students, I mean, it hit Central America in general. So I think that all students that are far away from home, don't make the mistake of thinking that you can't help at all and thinking that you're useless because that will be something that will drift you from your responsibilities that you have here. So I think it's just making the best of it, trying to use the power of social media, trying to connect people that you can connect with and make the best of it.

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This item was submitted on November 18, 2020 by Sofia Soto using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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