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Visibles: After losing her husband, Martha Alvarado turned her love towards her community

Gaby Lozada

In the sixth season of Visibles, our guests talk about the diverse meanings of love.

Martha Alvarado arrived in the United States in 1995 but struggled for several months to find a job. She had to live in the streets of New York and experienced her first winter looking for shelter so she wouldn’t die of hypothermia.

Alvarado thought a lot about Colombia; still, she did not want to return. After all, she said, she was escaping a violent country that restricted its citizens’ freedom.

She went through many dangerous situations on the streets of New York. Men wanted to use her to find other women to prostitute. She had little money, but her values weighed more, so she refused.

Read this story in Spanish here.

Alvarado met the love of her life, Francisco Javier, in New York while she slept in a shelter. He rented her her first bedroom; they fell in love little by little.

But one day, he died of a heart attack, leaving Alvarado and her daughter behind.

She came to live in Nashua, and since then, she has turned her love towards her community, helping them access resources that make their new life here easier. One of her goals is for more people to obtain their citizenship, which is why she teaches classes at the Nashua Public Library on this subject.

For her, love is a dignified life.

This is episode 24. To see all episodes make, click here.


Gabriela Lozada is a Report for America corps member. Her focus is on Latinx community with original reporting done in Spanish for ¿Qué hay de Nuevo NH?.
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