One World Café interviews Adriana Pàramo, the winner of the 2011 Social Justice and Equity Award in Creative Nonfiction

(from the accompanying article)

In Looking for Esperanza, Adriana shows us a side of immigration that we don´t usually see. She tells the story from the perspective of women—desperate women, plagued by uncertainty—trying to do their best to support their children, who have a simple plan: make money and go back home as soon as they can. The book suggests that as much as Adriana loves the USA, her research has led her to realize that her adopted homeland is not as fair or as just as we would like to think it is.
--Claire Hart

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Adriana Páramo is a nonfiction writer born and raised in Colombia.
After spending ten years in the oil industry as a student and as a petroleum engineer with a multinational oil company, she decided to leave her homeland and moved to Alaska. In 1992 she graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage as a cultural anthropologist. There, she conducted field work among Yup’ik Eskimos, an ethnochoreology, an innovative approach that linked their dances to their socio-cultural experiences.
Adriana later moved to Kuwait where she taught various subjects to young Muslim girls at a private school. There, she also engaged in advocacy of immigrant women’s rights: specifically, Indian women working as servants. She designed a tool to assess the quality of life of this group of immigrants whom she found living in squalor in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The results of her fieldwork, along with explorations of the lives of other more privileged women living in Kuwait, evolved into “Desert Butterflies,” an unpublished manuscript.
After four years of research in the Middle East, Adriana returned to the USA. She taught Humanities and Anthropology at a college in Central Florida. Inspired by a story about an immigrant mother who walked the desert from Mexico to the USA with the dead body of her baby strapped to her own, Adriana immersed herself in the underground world of undocumented women toiling in the Florida fields. This fieldwork and the anonymous voices of the women she encountered while looking for the mother in the story are captured in “Looking for Esperanza,” winner of the 2011 Social Justice and Equality Award in creative nonfiction.
She is the author of
My Mother’s Funeral, (CavanKerry Press) which tells the story of a Colombian family of six women struggling to triumph among poverty and neglect. Interspersed between these stories are short snippets of the present life of the author, now an immigrant in the USA.
Adriana volunteered her time as a transcriber for Voice of Witness, a non-profit book series founded by author Dave Eggers, which empowers those most closely affected by contemporary social injustice. She co-produces LOL, Life Out Loud, the only reading series in Tampa Bay exclusively dedicated to nonfiction.
Her nonfiction work has been published in Consequence Magazine, Alaska Quarterly Review, So To Speak Journal, The Los Angeles Review, Fourteen Hills, Carolina Quarterly Review, Magnolia Journal, 580 Split, Phati'tude Literary Magazine, South Loop Review, New Plains Review, Compass Rose, Concho River Review and the rest. 
She can be contacted at:
www.paramoadriana.com