I am the oldest daughter of Cirilo Montes-Zúñiga and Teresa Gonzalez Flores. My father was a Honduran political exile who was accepted in Venezuela after fleeing the dictatorship of Tiburcio Carías. When he married my mother, the daughter of a Venezuelan general, the family was not very pleased. As he had little money for educational support, he encouraged her to study at the Venezuelan Central University. After receiving her degree in Psychology, she helped him support us, two daughters and one boy.
My grandfather, General José Rosario González
He was a reporter and had his own radio program, “Radioperiódico Orientación,” and wrote in the most influential Venezuelan newspapers and magazines of his time and had the honor of interviewing Pablo Neruda. He taught me everything he knew about Journalism, radio production and being a reporter. I was his helper at a very early age, and at eleven years old I studied typing and shorthand so I could help him on school holidays. He had his own printing office that kept us busy, and he paid me very well. He had extended arms for helping poets, writers, students, and the poor during his life.
Cirilo Montes Zúñiga
Yesterday, my mother died of cancer, a recurrence of a previous kidney cancer. She was supported by Glenda my sister and Miguel my brother. As I live in the US, I have traveled to my country periodically to see he. I was very impressed with her determination to live, and I would come back home with a nurtured heart, knowing that she was very confortable and well taken care of by my sister and brother.
Teresa González de Montes-Zúñiga getting her degree at the Central University
Now she’s gone. After many years of suffering, she’s taken that last trip that many fear so much, one she personally did not want to face. As a person of faith, I pray for her soul, and for her prompt reunion with my father. Then, the both of them will be overlooking us. My siblings Glenda and Miguel and me, our sons and grandsons, and our extended families. My mother had many people that admired, loved and respected her, and that makes me feel so proud. She had 12 brothers and sisters, so our lives revolve in endless permutations of relationships, in which “the cousins of my cousins” have been very rewarding for me. My mother loved deeply her nephews and nieces, her nieces-good daughters, her good sons, and our extended family Corita and her family. Corita was like a second mother to me, and her daughter, my good daughter Yanecita called my mom “Mamá Teresa.”
I have always been in love with the Caribbean, working with PR and Marketing, publishing articles for some of the most important tourism trade publications from Mexico to Argentina. Sustainable Tourism became my passion and because of her support I have achieved so much in my professional life. I’ve participated in more than two dozen sustainable conferences at the regional and international level, and won several recognitions and awards in the Caribbean region. I’m now in a position to continue my sustainable project by entering Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, taking Sustainable Development as a major. Had my two sons, Raúl and Cristóbal not had the excellent home care they received, I wouldn’t be here now.
As a guess at Tourism conference in Gujarat State, India.
Finally, I don’t like funerals, pure and simple. I was studying in Spain when my father passed, and I was grateful that my mother didn’t insist on me to attend his funeral. In fact, I’ve already instruct my sons about it when I die. No funeral for me! I’m very grateful that our small Venezuelan family was together at the time of my mother’s passing here in Wilmington, North Carolina. I want to thank my niece Sasha Montes for her help on these last days of my mother, as she was passing our voice messages to her death bed.
We will be on spirit in her cremation, and I’m so grateful that being so far away I have a place I can call home, where our family is finally together. I live in the present, not in the past. I feel privileged because my life is full of work, projects, and now Bill and me have a new goal that involves our families. “The Signs of the Times” are here and I can’t spend a lot of time thinking in all that could be but is not.
Descansa en paz mamá. Vuela alto y llega pronto a encontrarte con mi papi.