by María L. Trigos S. Gilbert

Hi, my name is María L. Trigos S. Gilbert. I was born in Caracas, Venezuela. I am now living in the USA; now let me tell you how I got here. One day, I was in a mission trip, preaching the Gospel, when I met Billy Gilbert, my husband (I call him my “gringo” – a gringo is a North American, colloquial term in Latin America ). At first I thought that he was an Italian for how he looked. But gosh, I was wrong because when he spoke, I found out from accent that he was a North American, and a very nice one.

Vows
We got married in Caracas, Venezuela. Our wedding was a sweet dream come so real that it was hard to believe that two people from a very different world’s perspective could be together for five years. Yes, we are going to celebrate pretty soon our fifth anniversary, and I still feel as wanted as I was when we first got married.

Here in the USA I have been working, studying, and being a wife. I don’t have kids in case you wonder. Nevertheless, we have thought about having them as much as we have thought about having each other since day one.

My Parents
I think that I am one of the fine products of the love between a Venezuelan mother and a Spaniard father. Knowing that I am a Trigos, has been pretty significant for me. My parents’ last name means so much to me that I am not able to paint so in words, nor in the most fine colors that we can think of. The reason why I am writing all these facts in this marvelous magazine is simple: I care for writing and all what comes with it. The painter and the writer have something in common: there is always a story behind each picture, and there is always a picture behind each story.

My Name
As you can see, my name is pretty long. I keep it that way to honor my past and my present. Here’s what it all means:

María = This is my first name. I find that many people in the USA can pronounce this without much trouble because it is a popular, well known Spaniard, Latin name. Online I usually use “María María” because it is very easy to remember and pronounce.

L. = The “L” stands for “Luisa,” which is my middle name. I find that many in the USA have a hard time pronouncing this name. So, I shorten it just to “L.” to make it easy for everyone.

Trigos = If I thought “Luisa” was hard to pronounce, “Trigos” has proven impossible for people in the USA to pronounce correctly! Since it is my Father’s last name, I keep it in full and not shorten it to honor him. That is my history. That is my Venezuelan culture.

S. = The “S” honors my mother’s last name. This, too is Venezuelan culture. You carry both your mother’s last name and your father’s.

Gilbert = This is my married last name.

As you can see, my name defines who I am, where I’ve been and where I’m going! My name is a roadmap of my life, experiences, culture and history.

Life in the USA
I am living right now in Monroe, Louisiana. Louisiana has been a fine state for me to live in because, in a very versatile way, it seems a bit like Caracas, although so different. I have been used to serious faces in Venezuela, but here in Louisiana everyone smiles at you for no apparent reason, just because they’re happy living.

In Venezuela I earned a two year degree in an English-Spanish Foreign Language Upper Level Studies program and I am now studying at Northeast Louisiana University. I earn a living by tutoring people in Spanish and translating documents.

Then I should say as the creation of this planet, the earth, Monroe is good, very good. I have met so many people, fine people, that I am not able to recall all their names. Yet let me try: Dwain Flowers, John Camp, Elaine Elias, Cordova family, Traylor family, they are all certainly very meaningful in my life. They all come from different perspectives of the world, but from all of them I have learned something, love.

Conclusion
Hey, I think that if I say too much now, you won’t have too much to look for in the future. Although I do have many things to say, let me save some for the tomorrow, my tomorrow and yours.