my country is sinking slowly into a black hole that seems to be consuming all of us and making us disappear in its relentless darkness, I try to stay positive in hopes that my cheerful spirit can rescue me from this madness.

My body and my mind pore over an internal struggle between my reality and the life I want for me and my family; I close my eyes and I find myself sailing through countless memories that transport me from one place to another, going through all those spaces that once saw me go by and filled me with energy. in my dream, I open my eyes and find myself walking the streets of New York. I feel the freedom passing through my body; it slips through my fingers and then goes to produce the same effect on someone else. Suddenly I find myself in a street flanked by tall buildings that shelter me and make me feel safe; I have the impression that the content space gives me a sense of peace, the kind of peace that I´ve been anxiously chasing for months in a frustrated search because of the great amount of uncertainty present in my life. I walk a little more, and a small open space appears before my eyes; a beautiful glow blinds me for a moment. The excess of light gradually begins to disappear and my eyes revel in the freedom of this area that, even though it´s contained between buildings, seems to escape every few seconds to fill this place with a delicious sense of grandeur.

I stop for a few minutes to appreciate this gift and try to absorb all the freedom of the space with every fiber of my being. I want it to fill my body; I want to take it back with me to my country which needs it so much.… it comes back to my mind quickly subjugating all traces of light that I had managed to get… I open my eyes and find myself back in the same place that wanted to escape from. But something has changed… My perception of it is different. Now I´m able to appreciate it for what it really is and not for what my emotions make me perceive it.

I direct my gaze to the right and find a leafy tree; then I look up and discover that a vast blue sky is protecting me from the unknown. Nothing separates us; not even a delicate cloud is between us; this huge bright and colorful blanket climbs over me highlighting the organic forms of vegetation and the incorruptible straight lines of the buildings. I hear some birds passing over my head and a gentle breeze blows my hair clouding my sight for a few seconds.

I take a breath and everything starts to make sense. I wake up to my reality. I must be here; there is a greater purpose directing the lives of those who are still here.

I cannot surrender. My energy has to regain its luster, color and strength. I must recover my smile, the one that was left hidden behind some door in a sad and dark place.

I close my eyes again; take a deep breath and open them again. It’s back! My lost smile has returned; and with it, my energy. I feel like I slowly regain my strength and begin to believe again, to have faith again. Everything will be fine. There is a bright future ahead of me, waiting for me, anxious for my arrival.

I walk towards it, to that ideal place where my designs are more than just sculptures contained behind bars. That place where the skyline can be seen in its entirety as we walk down any street. That place in which an architect can be a visionary without limitations beyond those imposed by the client or urban planning; where the environment adds to the project instead of subtracting from it; where life flows through buildings without bumping with cold locks.

I know that place is near; I feel it deep inside me, and I also know that I am an important part of this process of change; that’s why I’m here.

I won´t close my eyes to the reality that surrounds me; I won´t be going with the flow any more. Starting today, my life and the way I live it will be vital elements of a major change. Because, as Mandela said: “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others…”