By D. Alexandra Naulanini-Figueroa.
(Translated from Spanish to English by Lourdes Rodriguez, a fellow member of the church Roca de Consolation.)
An unusually cold September afternoon did not deter Ana Jaquez from walking to her church, Roca de Consolation, in order to help with a flea market fundraiser. With low attendance due to cold weather and eventual rain forcing, it became clear that the event would need to be rescheduled.
Jaquez, 61, is a Hispanic woman who has lived and worked in Mission Hill for over 15 years. Serving as both a babysitter and spiritual leader next to the pastor, she continues to teach the Bible to both children and adults.
“The best part is where I live. It’s near my church, and I’m right by the train when I need it,” she said in Spanish, walking down Heath Street near the Green Line.
Jaquez rents a small apartment in Mission Hill with her husband and granddaughter. She enjoys living in Mission Hill, with several of the restaurants in close vicinity.
Jaquez said the area is constantly changing. “There used to be a lot of hangouts,” but also “a lot of shootouts.”
Despite these changes, Jaquez continues to worry about her neighborhood, and how it is “struggling to unite” after violent events. She said that violence is still a threat Mission Hill struggles to overcome. Jaquez attends community meetings in an effort to improve the community for the long term.