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Film Update

The documentary, My American Girls, introduced us to the Ortiz family. Almost a decade later, we asked the Ortiz girls to update us on the events in their lives. Here are their responses.

Note that there is a set of updates from February 2009, and there are older updates, from 2001, below the 2009 updates.

  • February 1, 2009

Sandra and Bautista (in the words of Monica Ortiz, their oldest daughter)

My American Girls - Sandra and Bautista OrtizFebruary 2009 Update: "My mom is preparing the house in the Dominican Republic to be a bed & breakfast and it looks like Aida is going to be managing the operation of it. Please visit pristinedr.com to stay at mami's house!"

2001 Update: "The house in the Dominican Republic is almost complete. The bathrooms, floors, windows, doors and walls need finishing — almost nothing — (Ha!). My mom will be working at Long Island College Hospital 18 years in November and my dad 13 years at Methodist Hospital in September.

Aida begins attending a private university in New Jersey in the fall and it will be tough for my parents to finish the house and pay for school, but it means one more girl is going to college. They are very proud of Aida and are happy to say that Mayra is doing better in school (hopefully, my mom says, it stays that way). I asked my parents how they feel being big movie stars, my dad says he prefers to sing and has left the camera appearances to my mom, who tells me if possible she would like a small role in an American soap opera."

 

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Monica

 Monica OrtizFebruary 2009 Update: "I'm now living on the east coast with my stupendous son Kofi and lifelong sweetheart Amerigo. I've been making music and movement pieces with the artist collaborative MLR8 and working in neuropsychological research. I just visited the Dominican Republic with my mom, husband and son (and almost didn't come back)."

2001 Update: "I am part of a team of four called the 'SceneTeam' on Galavision's bilingual show GALASCENE. I'm interviewing everybody that can be considered hip and funky and about to 'Blow-up'. You can catch us on Galavision Sundays, at 8:30pm, and at www.galavision.com/galascene.

Although I am thoroughly enjoying the reporting scene, I wanted to get involved with the production of the show. So, I'm helping to produce some segments including one on the documentary My American Girls: A Dominican Story.

Apart from the Television show, I've realized I can't live without dancing, so I get my dancing fix by performing as a background dancer with various recording artists, loving every second of it. What's next. maybe, I'll try to be the recording artist, hopefully this time when I sing, I won't be in a pig suit."

 

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Aida

Aida Solano February 2009 Update: "My name is Aida Solano, also known as Aida Ortiz. Since the making of My American Girls many life changing events have taken place in my life.

As you can see I have a name change. I married in December 2006 and brought Numa Fernando Solano into the world on September 8, 2007. I took some time off from school to get acquainted with my new life.

I just started college again, but this time to finish. I am a student at University of Massachusetts Amherst. My major is Health and Human Services. Many of my classes are leadership and management based. I am excited about being in the program and looking forward to graduating.

I have been in search of a career doing something that I love (a wish for many of us). I have certificates in careers from phlebotomy to beauty. Life and its circumstances led me to the real estate profession.

I became a licensed real estate professional in 2007. It wasn't until the summer of 2008 that real estate took precedence over any other of my interests. I am a sales associate in Nantucket, Massachusetts at Compass Rose Real Estate. I am also a co-broker with Playa Grande Investments in the Dominican Republic.

I love being a mother, wife, professional and student. I am busy and happy. My son is young, but he is well-behaved. This makes my busy life easier. I love him very much."

2001 Update: "Two years ago, when My American Girls was filmed, I was a sophomore in high school. Many things have changed since then. In June, I'm going to graduate from high school, and enter a private university in New Jersey in September 2001 as a freshman. I'm a person of various interests, therefore I still don't know exactly what I want my major to be. But I do know what my interests are — I like writing poetry and reading, long walks on the beach, chocolate, white roses and showers before dinner. JUST KIDDING! But I wouldn't mind marrying a rich guy. Doesn't everybody want that? I seriously do like reading — especially The Science Times. And I'm very much into the government, so maybe I'll become an FBI agent. Who knows... I do know that I want to be successful in the future.

These days, I'm doing an internship at a preschool run by Long Island College Hospital where my mom works. I work with children 4 to 5 years old that have special needs. Some of these kids are autistic, some have been abused, and others were born with birth defects. I love working with these children because, at the end of everyday, I feel like I've learned something new, and I know I've accomplished something. I learn from them, and they learn from me. It's been a great experience. What more could you ask for? Also, I've gained a lot of knowledge on special education careers and children. At this point in my life, I'm happy :)"

 

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: MAYRA'S ME MYSELF & I

Mayra OrtizFebruary 2009 Update: "Well, I'm done with school. I am a certified nurses assistant and I'm going back to take my RN. I'm not working right now, though...the hospital had some lay offs but its alright...gave me time to finish school and get my life together. I should be starting to work at the nursing home around my house in about a month or so. Its a process to get in, so i have to wait... I have a daughter, Arianna, and she's doing great. She's going to be 4 yrs old soon...beautiful as ever..."

2001 Update: "I AM A 16 YEAR OLD MIDGET DAT LOVES TO EAT, SLEEP, AND DANCE. I LOVE FOOD! LATELY, I HAVE BEEN SPENDIN MOST OF MY TIME EATIN AND SLEEPIN. I DANCE EVERY TIME DAT I HEAR MY SONGS CUZ I LOVE MY MERENGUE AND BACHATA. YA KNOW.

I AM ALWAYS HAPPY, HYPER AND READY TO GO. LATELY, LET'S SEE.... MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY HAVE BEEN GIVING ME A COMPLEX ABOUT MY FEET. DEY SAY DAT DEY FUNNY LOOKIN AND DATS GRIMY BUT IT'S ALL GOOD THOUGH. I THINK THAT IF AARON HAD PUT A CLOSE UP OF MY TOES, I WOULD OF KICKED HIM IN HIS HEAD. DATS WORD!

WELL, RIGHT NOW I AM DOIN MAD GOOD IN SKOOL. GOTTA 95 ON MY LAST MATH TEST YO! I AM ACTUALLY GETTIN SOMEWHERE AND DOIN SOMETHIN WIT MY LIFE. WHEN I WAS IN FORT HAMILITON, I WAS ALWAYS OUT CUTTIN OR JUST NEVA WENT TO SKOOL. I WAS ALWAYS IN HOOKIES (PARTIES WHERE PEOPLE CUT SKOOL AND HANG OUT) AND DUIN STUPID THINGS. I'M JUST BASICALLY CHILLIN. NOW, I AM ATTENDIN NOT ONLY SKOOL BUT CLASSES ALSO. AND DOIN WHA I GOTTA DO THERE TO KEEP MY MOMS OFF MY CASE. BUT I GOTTA DO GOOD AND GET IT OVER WIT CUZ IF I DONT DO IT, WHO'S GONNA DO IT FOR ME? SO NOW I FEEL GOOD ABOUT MYSELF.I FEEL LIKE IM GETTIN SOMETHING ACCOMPLISHED.

EVER SINCE I WAS YOUNGER, I HAVE ALWAYS HAD THE DREAM OF BECOMING A STEWARDESS (FLIGHT ATTENDANT). I LOVE AIRPLANES! BY THE WAY, HALF THE REASON WHY I LUV TO GO TO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC SO MUCH IS CUZ I GET THE PLAYIN CARDS. HALF THE REASON WHY I WANNA BE A STEWARDESS IS SO THAT I CAN BE ABLE TO EAT ALL THEIR FOOD AND MONCHIES. I HAVE THIS THING WITH AIRPLANE FOOD I DUNNO WHY.

WELL. I AM A VERY HAPPY PERSON SO IM GONNA LEAVE YOU WITH A BIG HUG AND KISS.......MUAHHHHH!!! :~D (HAPPY FACE).....SMILE!"





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