“All I have in my heart is GRATITUDE”

Roxana Buitrago is a mother of four in Swansea, she was recently nominated as a Community Hero! Roxana has submitted a handwritten message (images below) which highlights some of her journey so far as an asylum seeker in Swansea. Her text has been typed up for accessibility.

Friday 24th June 2022

“All things work together for good to those who love God” Romans 8:28

As a human being that’s my daily hope, and I try to walk in that believing. Although sometimes I don’t understand the meaning of the reason why things happen.

I’m a happy mother of four beautiful children whom I love with all my heart. I’m from El Salvador, a beautiful tiny country full of beautiful hard working people, and amazing beaches.

Unfortunately, it’s also a fuel of violence by the gang members, who control all around the country. Each day they are getting more and more powerful. Therefore, as a consequence of this situation, my country is not a secure place to live anymore.

That violence took away my father and my nephew, they are no longer in this world because of this. The third in the list of targets was my son. This was the reason why as a family we had to leave our country and look out for a place where we can reside and enjoy the two main rights of a human being:

  1. the right to live
  2. the right to live in peace

I have never imagined that one day I would have to continue my life on the other side of the world! It has not been easy. The challenge was enormous, as we had to learn and deal with a new culture, new language, new weather and new everything! However, we know that God is in control all the time.

It has been a bit more than two years since we came here and all I have in my heart is GRATITUDE.

We are so grateful to the Lord, to be surrounded by amazing and beautiful people full of love and kindness. They have been there all the time being open hands to us throughout this journey. We enjoy and grow in all areas each day living in this beautiful Swansea. The City of Sanctuary. The land of revival! What a privilege we have to be living here.

Believe when I say, that walking without being persecuted, thinking that you or your beloved ones could be next in the blacklist of the evil doers is a priceless gift given from heaven.

The pandemic started two months after we came here, so we had plenty of time to start leaving learning English as we were in lockdown without being able to go anywhere, just the supermarket and hospitals. The time passed by and when I felt more confident to speak this language I decided to get involved with the community, doing volunteering here and there. Also trying to help Latino American people, as I’ve notice that they needed help in many areas.

Helping others makes me so happy! It is what I like to do wherever I go. I try to treat others as I want to be treated as well. This is a golden rule for me, as everything you give, returns to you somehow!

Well, as a result of all this evolving with the community, I was nominated this year as a community hero. So, I received a prize that I wasn’t expecting. All I do is because I love the Lord and I know that I’m blessed to bless others.

Me and my children are studying at Gower College Swansea at the moment. Me and my son are taking ESOL classes whilst my daughter is studying photography. I’m going to be taking a counselling course because I like listening to people and help them in some way.

Nevertheless, we are still in the process as asylum seekers, and we pray to the Lord as a family to have the opportunity to remain here legally and continue being part of this beautiful country someday not too far, and keep being part of this beautiful community.

Images of handwritten message courtesy of Roxana Buitrago
Typed up by Hazel Nixon


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