Zulayka Santiago created D.R.E.A.M. juice for local hunger strikers.
  • Victoria Bouloubasis
  • Zulayka Santiago creates D.R.E.A.M. juice for local hunger strikers.

Wednesday marked the ninth day of a hunger strike for three young women fighting for their dream: a right to higher education and a path to citizenship. ( their blog)

The women are camping out near Sen. Kay Hagan’s Raleigh office, refusing to eat until the senator co-sponsors the DREAM Act. The legislation would provide a pathway to citizenship for those whose parents brought them to the United States illegally when they were younger than 15 years old.

Moved by their efforts, Zulayka Santiago of Liberación Juice Station donated two gallons of fresh-made tonic to the girls last week.

“I put a lot of love into these,” Santiago told me. “I wanted to show solidarity.” She added wishes of strength and resilience.

Liberación Juice shows solidarity at Durham Farmers Market.
  • Courtesy of Justin Valas for NC Dream Team
  • Liberación Juice shows solidarity at Durham Farmers Market.

She named one of those tonics “D.R.E.A.M.”, a nourishing combination of lemon balm, nettles, lemon verbena, lemongrass, orange blossom and agave nectar. In solidarity, Santiago served the inspired juice off her brightly colored bus at the Durham Farmers Market last Saturday.

This afternoon at the site, I noticed the girls still had an almost half-full glass gallon of their namesake tonic, left to be savored between their “meals” of Gatorade and Pedialyte.

“Zulayka’s juice really soothes my tummy,” one of the girls said.

A bipartisan bill, The Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act offers undocumented youth meeting certain requirements a right to equal higher education and a conditional path to citizenship. It is currently backed by 39 senators, and was also backed by late Sen. Ted Kennedy.

The hunger strikers, ages 25, 23 and 22, were brought to the U.S. as children by their parents and share a struggle with 1.5 million undocumented youth with no conditional path to citizenship. For more on the strike, read Bob Geary’s Indy Citizen blog post.