Mother’s Day, celebrated in Costa Rica on August 15th, is a big day at El Colectivo 506. Our media organization was co-founded by three friends and mothers. It was built very explicitly, from the very start, on our hopes for our kids and their country. It has been shaped, inevitably, by their fevers and appointments and silliness and even, in the case of our older kids, by their ideas for their moms’ crazy new project.
Ever since we started publishing on Jan. 1, we’ve met some incredible mothers, both in person and second-hand, through our reporters and columnists. Today, we want to look back on just a few with you.
The mother who gave her son a name, with an open heart—when he was a teenager.
The mothers who fought for years just to prove, legally, that they are a family.
The (multinational) mothers of the coffee harvest, making ends meet despite unreal odds.
The mothers who endure the unendurable.
The mothers-away-from-home who sustain Costa Rica’s kids during the toughest times.
The mothers who begin again, brokenhearted, when they thought they were at the finish line.
The mothers who came together to support each other, from around the world.
These mothers made us cry, smile, and shake our heads in awe. They changed the way we see the world in many ways. Maybe the most important is that they redefined for us, again and again, what is possible. When we’re tired of writing or translating or trying to make a media microbusiness work, women like these have popped up in front of us, or on our Zoom screen or WhatsApp feed, and reminded us that battles much bigger and scarier are being fought and won every day. We are grateful to all of them, and hope to keep on reporting and publishing more stories like theirs.
In smaller ways, but on a daily basis, the three of us also changed each other—not just through the ideas we exchanged, but also by showing each other what it can look like to parent through uncertainty, pain, and just the sludge of life. We were changed by watching Mónica run complex Zooms with enthusiastic little boys crawling all over her (we mean that literally), Katherine morph into a new identity as a homeschooling parent, and Pip bring Julia Victoria into the world.
On this Mother’s Day, our wish for mothers is that kind of friendship. And on the days that are lonely, which come for all of us, we hope that stories can make a difference.