Marmi Curiel: Using art and conversation to cope


Ana Mata

[dropcap style=”square”]F[/dropcap]ollowing countless emotional moves between California and Mexico, sophomore Marmi Curiel now lives with her sister and brother in Mountain View while her parents remain in Mexico. While not living with her parents, Curiel has found drawing and talking with others to be helpful coping mechanisms.

“I use [drawing] as a stress reliever and every time I think of my drawing, it shows what I feel at that moment and reflects how I’m doing or what I feel,” Curiel said. “Singing also really relaxes me and it puts me in this really comfortable place where I can be myself.”

Curiel was born in Santa Clara but due to the high cost of living in Silicon Valley, she and her family moved to Visalia, a city south of Fresno, when she was two years old. Four years later, her father was deported to Mexico.

Curiel, along with her parents and brother, lived in Mexico for seven years after her father was deported. However, due to the slow economy, lack of jobs, and low pay, Curiel and her brother decided to move to Mountain View in 2014. They moved in with their sister, her husband, and their two kids, and still live with them today.

Since moving to Mountain View, Curiel said she has found it extremely hard for her to deal with not living with her parents at times. When she first moved back, Curiel and her siblings were unable to visit Mexico because they didn’t have passports or extra money. Not being able to see her parents placed a heavy burden on Curiel. A year ago, Curiel was able to get her passport.

“Now knowing that I can see them every time we have a break–that really keeps me going,” Curiel said.

Without her parents being around at home, Curiel said she finds support from her older brother.

“With my brother, he’s more [of a support system] because we’re really close in age and it’s easier for me to talk to him and to tell him how I feel. When it comes to school, he helps me and he tells me to go to the tutorial center. If I don’t know how to do something, he makes me find a way,” Curiel said.  

Suffering from social anxiety and depression since she was ten, Curiel has found an outlet through singing and drawing. Curiel attributes these hobbies to helping her find her identity and cope with her feelings.

Along with her hobbies, Curiel finds sanctuary when she expresses her feelings. Curiel highlighted the therapeutic help she gets from the simple act of talking with others. She explained that talking with others is the biggest remedy that helps her cope with not living with her parents.

“Some days I’m just like ‘I can’t do this anymore,’ but then I’ll just talk to anyone. I feel like just talking to someone makes it okay.” Curiel said.