In 2014, a young girl named Nubia walked into the church where Ron Wakefield, a music teacher, was teaching music and asked him to give her guitar lessons. He didn’t have time right then; they made plans for the first lesson at 9 AM the next day. Nubia arrived the following morning, and what Ron didn’t know was that she had just walked three-and-a-half miles (now seven total) through the hot desert dust to pursue this dream.
She was so tiny that Ron bought Nubia a 1/4 guitar. Her lessons and long mountain walks continued. She was such a dedicated student that he included her on some tours he took with his California students. (At the time, Ron worked as a music teacher in Los Angeles and went to Tijuana on weekends.) He brought Nubia to Hawaii, to a nursing home, to a children’s hospital, and and even to Carnegie Hall, where she performed a solo. She showed great promise as a teacher as well as a guitarist, and she worked in an orphanage teaching a child there how to play the guitar.
But in Mexico, for a girl of meager means, life wasn’t easy, and one day Nubia stopped coming. Her family had some troubles, and she dropped out of music and school and went through some brutal experiences which are not uncommon for beautiful, young, vulnerable girls in Tijuana. Unlike so many girls with a similar story, Nubia was able to escape this situation and found her way back to Ron. She would come regularly for a while and then disappear, but she never gave up her music. Finally, she returned to stay.
Nubia is one of the most resilient and courageous girls we have met. School was too difficult for her to pursue; it is expensive, requiring money for transportation, books, and uniforms. She needed to help her family, so she took a factory job where she works 50 hours a week earning $15 (US) a day. She goes home tired, yet faithfully practices her guitar, and her dream is to share her love of music and great skill and diligence with others.
A very generous person heard about Nubia in one of our newsletters; also a lover of music, this donor bought Nubia a beautiful guitar. Now Nubia feels ready to teach others. For her, it is a calling. Ron is prepared her to teach his beginning students. After COVID, we would like to hire her to visit shelters and share her love and talent with others.
So many migrants have suffered great loss and trauma, and they worry about the future. We have long known that music is one of the oldest methods to calm the psyche and soothe the spirit.
We are so grateful to know Nubia and to have seen her overcoming her difficulties with the healing art of music. We are delighted to help her offer her gift to others.