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Mexican writer living in Estonia: Setomaa and Mexico have much in common

Ave Häkli and Stephanie Rendón de la Torre.
Ave Häkli and Stephanie Rendón de la Torre. Source: ERR

Stephanie Rendón de la Torre, an Estonia-based physicist, data scientist, writer and translator from Mexico who has published both in Mexico and Estonia, told in an interview with the "OP" culture program that there are numerous parallels between her two homelands.

Rendón came to Estonia 10 years ago with the intention of studying physics at TalTech. Fortunately, she was able to stay and write thanks to a property purchased in Setomaa. "You could say Setomaa is my muse at the moment," she said. The book "From Mexico to Setomaa," (Estonian: "Teekond Méxicost Setomaale") published in 2022, tells the story of Rendón's journey, culture shock, and the love she discovered in Estonia.

"I feel that in Estonia I have found my true home and my voice as a writer, and I am very grateful for that," she said. "In Mexico, society is also very frugal, like in Setomaa. And even festive dresses, some designs are the same as in Mexico."

Last year, Rendón also published a collection of 14 short stories. Both books were published in Estonian, but they were not written in Estonian. "At the moment I don't write in Estonian, but we will talk again in five or 10 years – writing in Estonian is my personal goal," she said, adding that she has several new projects in the works.

Rendón said she considers herself both Estonian and Mexican.

"Mexican and Estonian identities both coexist in me. I don't know how this is possible. I love Estonia so much, but of course, I will always be a Mexican," she said.

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Editor: Ave-Marleen Rei, Rasmus King, Kristina Kersa

Source: Interviewer by Ave Häkli

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