Avila finds community as his parents are gone for holidays

Lucie Rutherford, Editor-in-Chief

For many, the holiday season means being together with family and taking part in family traditions. For senior Carlos Avila, a big part of that family aspect was missing these past holidays. Avila’s parents left for Mexico in early December, and are yet to return until mid-January. Though many high school students would be siked to have their parents gone for a month, Avila is in a different boat.

“I really miss them,” Avila said. “They’re a huge part of my life and do a lot for me, so it’s not a great feeling to have them gone for over a month, especially over the holidays.”

The original plan was for Avila to go with his parents to their old hometown in Mexico, though the death of his grandmother at Christmas time last year made it too hard to go back.

“I was really close to my grandmother, too,” Avila said. “Going back during the same time that she passed away last year just wasn’t something I wanted to do.”

Though his parents were gone over the holidays, Avila has his older sister and his niece and nephew to get him through the month and a half.

“Luckily, all of my family lives nearby in Harrisonburg, so I get to see them a lot. We have meals together and stuff like that all the time, so it makes my parents being gone easier,” Avila said.

Not only does Avila have additional family that he was able to spend the holidays with, but friends as well, due to them having similar traditions.

“Instead of celebrating on Christmas, me and my family celebrate and open presents on Christmas Eve. It’s different, but many of our family friends celebrate like that too. I guess you could say it’s a common tradition for [our culture],” Avila said.

Even though Avila was hesitant about returning to Mexico over the holidays, there is no doubt in his mind that he will be going back soon.

“I love going back to Mexico,” Avila said. “It’s where I’m from and I still have family there, so there is a lot to look forward to every time I go back. Since my grandma’s death last year, I doubt I’ll ever really want to go back during the winter, but I’d love to at any other time during the year.”