Preface – Bilingual storytellings for kids: a guide to parents

(Ver versión en Español)

On August 4th, 2008 my family and I left El Salvador. We were just granted the US resident visa, but the main and strong motives to leave our country were the frightening threats of extortion we received by telephone calls from gang members.

To be honest, even though my family and I were going to be safe in The United States, it was not desirable to me moving to a country where I knew it was going to be difficult to find job opportunities in my profession, in which I´d had a successful career in El Salvador. I´d have to do a three-year medical internship if I wanted to work in my profession, which was something I did not want to put myself through.

That was how I came up with the idea of creating “Bilingual storytellings for children that educate parents”. But it was not until this year, 2020, that my will has been reinforced with a group of people who have helped me with the drawing designs and the accurate translations of each storytelling. Casually, this effort has coincided with a peak of a bunch of series and movies released in English and Spanish in the United States.

Two families are the protagonists of my storytellings. These characters were previously created in 2008, but it was until 2019 that I could license my rights as the author of these storytellings.

It has been a long way and it has been difficult for my husband and I to adapt ourselves to this country. However, we have tried harder, mostly with one of our big challenges at our age which is the English language.

It has not been easy, but we are safe in this country that now we consider our second home. God has given me the strength I need, and the right people by my side to support my dream. Even though my work is Ad Honorem, my dream is to provide parents and kids storytellings as learning tools. I really hope that my storytellings make your time with your kids more pleasant with a short storytelling, and at the same time, provoke a reflection in both parents and children. All this, absorbing the economic costs to donate these learning tools to people.

It was about creating small and simple stories easy to understand for children of any educational level, and easy to tell and explain by their parents, also of any educational level. The idea is that these images with plain text are fixed in the brain to produce changes, maybe not necessarily apparent at first, with the intention that they provoke in their children, and even in themselves , a reflection about different basic aspects of education.

But from the experience of immigration itself, I considered that there are millions of immigrant families, the vast majority of them with difficulties adapting to their new country of adoption greater or much greater than those we had, but which must be overcome.

It was in this way that the SMALL TOWN family was born, a family of «human animals» of rustic origin, who have emigrated to a new country with a quite different culture. The difficulties of adapting the parents, and the children initially, to the new culture, and also the later identity problems of the children, are the inspiration of the small and simple stories of this family that, as in the other case, they are intended to be a simple model for parents and children to use reinforcement and mutual support to overcome their adaptation difficulties, being aware that it is the price to pay for the growth and expansion of the family’s horizons.

But this growth and adaptation imply some changes, particularly in the educational model. This is how the HEARTMIND family was born, a family of small robots in which their heart and brain are visualized, as if wanting to imply the importance of both organs, not only vital for their own life, but for their own education, so that the wise interpretation and assessment of what one and the other tell us at all times is what will cause a successful educational experience. Each story will deal with some basic aspect of education. Through simple stories it is possible to clarify everyday situations and learn to cope with them and give explanations as part of family education, interacting parents and children together. I hope you like these stories and allow you to be reflected on these topics and suggest some more.

You can explore the first two stories below:

Dr. Margarita Mendoza Burgos