Family Affair

By Avery Smedley

A lot has changed since Andrea Lara and her son, Jahmal, left Colombia for the United States eight years ago. One thing that hasn't? Andrea's love for dance. And now her son has caught the bug.

It has been such a joy and privilege getting to know the Lara-Bonilla family. Although the family was reserved at first, I quickly grew closer with them. I was amazed by Andrea's stories and her breadth of life-experiences. She seems to have lived a million lives in just the one. I learned so much about what it was to be a teenager in Bogota, from the activism scene to the unique cultural aspects you won't find anywhere else. I was astounded by the family's resilience, their brilliance (Andrea and Jahmal bring talent to everything they touch), kindness, openness and willingness to let me into their world. We shared so many laughs over vegan food and bocadillo. They are such a wonderful family whom I admire so much.