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Olivia Vital

Olivia Vital

Musician and Teacher's Assistant at Valley View

Born: Mexico City, Mexico
Heritage: Mexican

You need to study hard. You need to be really trying hard. Pay attention and do your work. This is just a wonderful gift that you have here to study and be in this wonderful, magical place—this country, because of the opportunity it gives. Not just the opportunity it gives to people like you, but also for people like me who came here. The opportunity it gives just to improve yourselves, improve your life, and keep moving forward.

Olivia Vital

Musician and Teacher's Assistant at Valley View

My name is Olivia Vital de Contreras. I was born in Mexico City. My childhood was beautiful and very nice. My father wanted me to study music. He was a musician and loved music. He wanted us to fill our heads with something like music instead of filling our heads with bad things.

I started studying music when I was ten years old. I was learning to play saxophone. I graduated from Doctor Gusta Uvas with a degree in office management. For six or seven years I entered into a band and performed. Then I joined a group where I was hired to perform in musical events and to perform in concerts. I met my husband when we were both performing music.

We were engaged for seven years before getting married. My husband got fired from his job and decided to buy a bus, like a van. He became an unofficial taxi driver in Mexico City. Then we started a little shoe store.

I wasn’t able to get pregnant or stay pregnant. So I was traveling with my husband to Estado au Oaxaca, a state in the south of Mexico close to the ocean. We found this shrine while we were eating in a restaurant. It was the Virgin called Juquila. We asked the Virgin de Juquila if we can have a child.

Four years later I was able to get pregnant. It was a miracle. I had my daughter. I gave her the name Juquila which is the name of the Virgin.

Everybody was saying they were going to move. So we came to the United States when we had a little bit of money. We left the shoe store. We wanted to improve things. We wanted to get a better life. My husband had relatives in Minnesota so we just came up here. We haven’t left Minnesota because we want Juquila to finish her studies here.

We love Juquila very much. We want her to learn and to be successful. We want her to be better than us, her parents, so when we get old she can take care of us.

Now my family and I love to do things together. I like to listen to classical music. I really like to help teachers at Valley View. I don’t work so I would get bored at home. I know they need my help here and I really like helping. I also think Juquila likes when I come here. So I do all this work for all of you.


It’s A Joyful Magical World

Honoring Olivia Vital

It’s A Joyful Magical World
(Honoring Olivia Vital)

It’s a joyful magical world
You never know what will happen next
Pay attention and do your work
This life is such a wonderful gift
Her father wanted her to study music,
So she started when she was ten years old,
On the saxophone,
Soprano saxophone, and clarinet,
Then she started performing
in a concert band,
all across the land,
That’s when she met the man
She was to marry
With her husband four years she traveled,
Wanting to have a child,
But couldn’t have a child
Until they went
To the shrine,
the Virgen de Juquila,
Where together they prayed,
“Can we please
have a baby?”
They were so happy
when their daughter
Juquila, was born.
To be better than your parents,
so when they get old,
you don’t need to be told,
to care for them,
To learn and be successful,
To prepare yourself,
To care for someone else,
To have a better life

and to sing!

Words & music by Larry Long with Tara Thukral’s 5th Grade Class of Valley View Elementary School, Columbia Heights, Minnesota
© Larry Long Publishing 2012, BMI