Youth Treated to Virtual Visit by Author Sandra Cisneros

BCFS Health and Human Services-San Antonio hosted award-winning author Sandra Cisneros at their virtual fall festival for youth from foster care in San Antonio, Texas.

Cisneros calling from her home in Mexico.

Cisneros, author of works such as “The House on Mango Street” and “Woman Hollering Creek,” charitably shared insight into her life on a video call from her home in San Miguel de Allende, four hours northwest of Mexico City. In more than an hour of conversation, Cisneros told heartfelt stories of family, betrayal and belonging, capturing the attention and imagination of those served by BCFS-San Antonio.

“A lot of people know about the things that made me famous, but no one knows about the things that made me fail,” Cisneros said.

Case Manager Nathaniel Orona led a drawing workshop as Bob Ross.

Cisneros shared that becoming a notable author, as with every success in her life, was not a miracle but a journey made poco a poco, little by little. Her family’s journey, too, is a grand adventure made of many small steps. In the early 1900s, her family were landless residents of Mexico, fleeing north to avoid the violence of a revolution but struggling to find a true home. Their travels took them to El Paso, Colorado, Kansas City and finally Chicago.

Cisneros spent many years of her adulthood in San Antonio, where some of her works are based. However, like her family, Cisneros has wandered and traveled plenty, experiencing “death and rebirth” as she describes it, learning who she was along the way. Today, more than 100 years after her family was forced to leave Mexico, Cisneros shared that she has returned to the same land her family could never have afforded to own in their lifetime, land that is now her home.

“We were so excited and fortunate to have Sandra Cisneros join us and share her story,” said Celeste Garcia, Executive Director of BCFS Health and Human Services Community Services Division. “Her life is filled with things that most can relate to, but I think this is especially true for our youth.”

Closing her story, Cisneros stayed to chat, answering a few questions and giving advice on how to live meaningfully. The rest of the fall event was spent enjoying the traditions of the season: participating in a costume contest, watching the family-friendly movie “Hocus Pocus” and learning how to draw and cook with BCFS-San Antonio staff.