Cathy (Catalina) Mendoza-Nájera

Cathy Mendoza NajeraCathy (Catalina) Mendoza-Nájera is a Mexican activist, poet and award-winning playwright who has lived in the United States since 1987 and Springdale since 2005. A survivor of domestic violence, for several years she provided support services at the La Casa Womens’ Shelter in Las Cruces, NM and led seminars on the subject for groups of battered women throughout New Mexico. She has two Bachelors degrees from New Mexico State University, one in Sociology and one in Languages and Linguistics, and has done advanced work in Sociolgy.

She has continued her activism since moving to Arkansas. She worked for the Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention Agency from 2007 to 2012 and volunteered at the Circle of Life Hospice in Springdale for 7 years. She has volunteered at the Jones Center giving Spanish and meditation classes. She is currently on the Board of Directors of the Workers Justice Center, volunteers as an ESL, Basic Computer Skills and GED tutor, and is writing her autobiography.

 

Contribution: “Mi Amiga La Muerta”

¿A dónde iremos? No tengo idea,
Pero sabemos que viene,
Y la vamos a acompañar.
Es una amiga temida
y mal querida. Es la Muerte.

Misteriosa, puntual e infalible,
Hay ocasiones que llega,
Cuando menos te la esperas, ineludible.
Acá se quedan riquezas,
Poder, amores y penas,
No recuerdas decepciones,
Ni te preocupan las deudas.
Entonces,
¿Por qué tememos la muerte?

Mi vida ha sido de servicio,
He cumplido el compromiso,
Yo estoy lista cuando quiera,
La espero con mansedumbre,
sea hoy o sea en un siglo.

Aquí dejas tu envoltorio,
otra herencia temporal,
Se acabaron los dolores,
Ya no hay preocupaciones
Se acabo la indecisión,
Entonces,
¿Por qué temer a la muerte?

Mi vida ha sido de servicio,
He cumplido el compromiso,
Yo estoy lista cuando quiera,
La espero con mansedumbre,
sea hoy o sea en un siglo.

Por eso Muerte, mi amiga,
Te espero con resignación,
Cuando toques a mi puerta,
Te daré la bienvenida,
Y te acompañaré . . . .
con sumisión.

 

Death, My Friend

Where do we go? We have no idea.
We know that she will come
And we are destined to follow.
She is Death. A dreaded and unloved friend.
Mysterious, punctual, certain.
She comes when least expected, unavoidable.

Riches and power stay behind
Along with love and punishment.
We won’t remember disappointments
Or worry about our debts.
So then…why do we fear Death?

My life has been one of service,
My commitments met.
I am ready when she comes.
I await her humbly,
Today or in a hundred years.

Here we leave our wrappings
And other temporary legacies.
Gone are pain, precaution and indecision
So then…why do we fear Death?

My life has been one of service,
My commitments met.
I am ready when she comes.
I await her humbly,
Today or in a hundred years.

This is why, Death, my friend
I await you, yielding.
When you knock at my door
I will welcome you
And go with you quietly.

English translation by Sharon and Walter Schmidt

To offer the vision, inform the public, and create a choice.