Today the number of informal flower sellers at the traffic lights in DF has swollen. When the lights turn red, they weave their way among the cars and thrust sweet-smelling bunches of lilies and roses up to the open window. Freshly sprayed with water, the flowers look most tantalising. May 10th is Mother's Day in Mexico, an important celebration in Mexico when schools break up early, children arrive home with homemade cards and flowers, and restaurants fill with the loud noise of family get-togethers. So Feliz Dia de la Madre to all mums in Mexico!
Unfortunately, at the same time, it's also true that 52% of mothers are victims of violence in the home. I know some of these women and today is a fitting day to pay tribute to these mothers.
Sick and tired of constantly suffering at the hands of her husband, Griselda fled her home town and arrived in Mexico City with her four small children. She told me that during her first days here, they huddled together on a patch of bare floor kindly lent to them, sharing one blanket between all of them. She would lock her children in the house all day when she went to work, afraid they would be kidnapped if they went out without her. Once a week, she would take them to the park. Over the years she has struggled to bring them up on her own but her determination has got them through all kinds of hardships. They are now all teenagers. Yesterday she wished me a Happy Mother's Day. I told her what an example she was to her kids and admired her for not giving up, for working so hard and doing the best she can for them. I wish I'd had a big bunch of flowers to give her.
I know some more very special mums, teenage girls who have been victims of abuse and rape, living on the streets, fleeing from violence in their homes. Still young girls themselves, they too are struggling to bring up their babies and small kids in less-than-desirable circumstances. All I can say is, it's a privilege to work with them and help them at Casa Daya. May they continue to find the strength and hope to go on and give their children a better start in life. Feliz Dia de la Madre to Karla, Rocio, Júlia, Marisol, Alicia, Perla and Alejandra, among others!