Sonoma Speaker Series to host Salvadoran American poet, activist and New York Times bestselling author

Javier Zamora, author of “Solito: A Memoir.”|

Sonoma Speaker series will host Salvadoran American poet, activist and New York Times bestselling author Javier Zamora on Monday, March 6 at Hanna Center.

Zamora, author of “Solito: A Memoir,” has a body of work that explores borderland politics, racial issues and the ways in which immigration and the civil war have impacted his family.

During the civil unrest in El Salvador, Zamora’s father fled the country when his son was a just baby. When he was 5 years old, his mother left to join her husband in San Rafael, leaving young Zamora behind to be cared for by his grandparents and aunt.

His parents stayed in touch with him over the years, calling occasionally and sending letters and photos. In all their correspondence, they mentioned “the trip,” and that someday, he would go on “the trip” to reunite with them in the U.S.

He longed for that day to come, and in April 1999, it finally arrived. With the help of a paid coyote, he started out on a trek that was supposed to take two weeks. However, things went terribly wrong.

His memoir tells the story of Zamora’s harrowing eight-week journey as an unaccompanied minor, mainly on foot, attempting to cross the border to join his parents.

The memoir is written from the viewpoint of a 9-year-old questioning what it means to be a Salvadoran citizen traveling through hostile countries that try to rob him of his humanity.

During the event on March 6, which will begin at 7 p.m., Zamora will be interviewed by Laura Zimmerman, board member of Sonoma Speaker Series. Readers’ Books will be present, selling signed copies of the book before and after the speaker presentation.

General admission tickets cost $35 and VIP passes, which include access to a private reception and meet-and-greet, cost $75. Beer and wine will be on sale before the presentation. Hanna Center is located at 17000 Arnold Drive in Sonoma.

To purchase tickets, visit

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.