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Anita Rojas of Sacred Waters Birthing Center

Growing up in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico, Anita Rojas lived with her paternal grandmother, whom she thought to be her mother. "Both of my grandmothers were midwives," she notes. When she learned at age 17 that her mother was in El Norte, Rojas and her brother took a bus to Tijuana and crossed the border in the trunk of a car. "I went to high school but I didn't fit in," she says. "I ran away by getting married." After three miserable years in Alaska and the birth of twin boys (in a hospital), she fled and found sanctuary in Portland. There she met another man and had two more sons. "The first was a home birth," she says. "A light went on. I told the midwife, 'That's what I want to do.'" Rojas joined a group of young women who wanted to be midwives. "I jumped into midwifery in 1986," she says. "I haven't stopped since." Rojas and her sons moved to Eugene in 1990. Two years ago, she and two other midwives opened Sacred Waters. "We're in a growing spurt," she says. "It's nice to maintain a space for families who choose natural birth in a low-tech relaxed atmosphere."

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 15 March 2007

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