This poem is a collaborative effort of two young women from the detention center, a social work student from the United States who shared two days with the girls getting to know a little of the reality of incarcerated youth in El Salvador, and I (María). It explores the desire that we all share to have a place that we can escape to, be it real or one that exists only in our minds. In the case of these girls, it could be a place that exists but where they can’t go or an imaginary one where they can forget about all the stresses of life. It is a safe place where you are free to be who you really are, lose yourself, find yourself, yell, sing, smile, cry, experience and dream because nothing is impossible. You visit your refuge to live a moment of serenity, to look for inspiration, to remind yourself that you have a ‘beautiful face of an angel’ and deserve to feel good. For us, in that moment, the place was the beach of Acapulco, and this is how we felt.
A Trip to Acapulco
I would like to go to Acapulco,
be at the beach,
in luxury hotels,
meet new and exciting people,
eat strange foods that I’ve never eaten.
Find someone to have fun with,
especially a cute boy.
I would like to enter the ocean,
float in the waves
and lose myself for a second.
Be one with the ocean.
The water makes me feel strong, brave and clean.
The water gives me new dreams and hopes.
Lay down in the waves that come,
in the blue water
and look up at the sky,
the bright stars.
See myself in the reflection in the water,
my beautiful face of an angel.
Have the feeling that I’m floating towards heaven,
have my mind at peace.
To be able to smile and dream
that it will never end.
Every time life knocks me down,
I close my eyes and I am in Acapulco.
I feel the sand in my toes
and the taste of salt in my mouth.
I look for the love and companionship
that makes me feel complete.