In Mexico the drug cartels have more power than anyone can really understand. Valeria is a Mexican woman and knows the cartel and their power very well as her husband traffics drugs from Mexico to America for them. It was never been a choice, but rather something that he had to do in order to stay alive and for his wife and sons to not be murdered as well. The fear tactics that the cartel uses are what makes Valeria and her husband Hector decide that they cannot risk the lives of their two sons. One has already lost a limb because Hector asked to leave the business, the cartels answer was very clear. Valeria trained for weeks, carrying an 85-pound backpacks on her chest and her back walking for hours around their home. They didn’t know of any other way to live other than separating their family for the sake of the children. Valeria left with their youngest son Javier and begins to walk the same trail that Hector walked on his trips. She makes it to the final crossing at the river and begins to celebrate by enjoying some time playing in the river. Before she knows what is happening Javier goes under in the current and she can’t find him and doesn’t find him. She decides she cannot leave and go back to Mexico or forward to America without him. She decides to live on the banks of the river, with a room set up for when she finds Javier. The heartbreak of a mother and the things she is willing to do to keep her children safe are what makes Valeria’s story so touching. On the banks of this river is where her son lives and when the moment comes that she finds him again she must decide which side of this river to take him, which place is home.

Female- River Leads Home

  • (*Performance note: This character is a native of Mexico and may speak more Spanish than has been specified within the text. The suggestions of Spanish speaking moments may be taken out or added to but are at the discretion of the performer.*)


    (Scene opens with Valeria. She is a Mexican woman quietly calling the name of her child “Javier.” It is the softest whisper of a loving mother’s voice. She smiles as she calls his name. She waits for a response- nothing. She calls again, “Javier” waits- nothing. Her disappointment is clear as she addresses the audience.)


    Sometimes I sit for hours on the banks of this river and just whisper his name. “Javier.” (She waits for a response, nothing.) Just waiting for a response, he’ll respond one day. Running from the banks, arms raised high and wide (She does) right into my arms. Picking him up and swinging him around in the air until we are both so dizzy all we can do is collapse on the ground, laughing, hugging, tickling each other, loving every minute because you never know, you just don’t know when- (She looks in her arms and Javier is gone. Just a memory.) when it will all be over. When the hugs you grew to know every day turn into the memory of those hugs ... but now…looking back, they are the things I would absolutely kill for to have again.




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