At the time I made the doll for Lupita, I had no way of knowing that it would blossom into something as extraordinary as The Original Friends Dolls have become. But after over four years of freedom and telling the story of the 15 month old baby for whom I made the first doll, I made a promise to myself; to find Lupita and her mother Sara.
I knew very little about what happened to Sara and her family after she was transferred to Islas Marias, an island penal colony approximately 70 kilometers off the coast
of Mazatlan. Because of its distance from the mainland, Islas Marias is sort of an experiment in detention, allowing families to live together, providing education for children and adults through university. The inmates can live in a house provided by the prison and even run a small business. People meet and fall in love there, too!
Social media became the manner in which I could find Lupitas mother, Sara, and thus find Lupita. Yes, facebook! you did it again. Sara has been free for a little over a year. She remarried and they lived in a town between Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta. Perfect since I was coming to Puerto Vallarta from Guadalajara and I would pass through the small town where she was now living.
We met at the gas station and we began to catch up
I saved a special doll for Lupita, named Lupita, and she is a mariachi doll with red and white costume. Lupita was thrilled with the doll and I told her that she-Lupita was sorta famous because of the dolls. I reminded them both how I used to always call her Lupizza! She is now 8 years old.
What I didn’t know or expect was that Sara, her mother has told her about me since she was tiny and so consequently, Lupita was very warm and friendly to me, which really made my day. I got and gave lots of hugs and when I had to go, she said to me in perfect English: I love you! No prodding from her mother, she just wanted to say it. Let me just say “Right back at you, Lupizza!” I love you too!
As I drove away, I couldn’t help thinking about a comment one of the Directors told us again and again, “You can never make friends inside of prison.” Here, over 7 years later, I made friends inside a very difficult place, and I continue to be friends with them both. I know Lupita for the happy warm young lady she is becoming. Two for the price of one!
My name is Rebecca Roth. I am an author, poet, artist, and most importantly a doll maker/designer. I live and work in the central highlands of Mexico.