On May 27, 1937, over four hundred children sailed for Morelia, Mexico, fleeing the violence of the Spanish Civil War. Home was no longer safe, and Mexico was welcoming refugees by the thousands. Each child packed a suitcase and boarded the Mexique, expecting to return home in a few months. This was just a short trip, an extra-long summer vacation, they thought. But the war did not end in a few months, and the children stayed, waiting and wondering, in Mexico. When the war finally ended, a dictator—the Fascist Francisco Franco—ruled Spain. Home was even more dangerous than before.
This moving book invites readers onto the Mexique with the “children of Morelia,” many of whom never returned to Spain during Franco’s almost forty-year regime. Poignant and poetically told, Mexique opens important conversations about hope, resilience, and the lives of displaced people in the past and today.
And to all those who are moving in search
of a life without fear.
I think they are saying something to the ship.
Mexique. That’s what it is called.
Do the waves know that?
Does the sea keep the names of all the ships?
Ana Penyas has a degree in fine arts from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. In 2018, she was the first woman to win Spain’s National Comic Award. She has also received the Josep Toutain Prize for Best New Talent at the International Comic Fair of Barcelona.
Raised in Valencia, she now lives in Madrid. Visit Ana’s website at anapenyas.es or follow her on Instagram @ana_penyas.