Costa Rica Production & Updates

It’s so good to be back in Costa Rica. It feels more and more like home to me.

DSC_0048I can’t believe we’ve been here for four days already. We arrived Saturday evening and after a brief reunion with my family on Saturday night, we woke up bright and early Sunday and traveled to Cartago to see the Basilica de Los Angeles. The Basilica de Los Angeles is the home of La Negrita the patron saint of Costa Rica and the place my birth mother, Angela, longed to visit so she could pay respects to the saint that fulfilled miracles and reunited our family.

DSC_0060I’m thrilled to be working with Erik Dettle, my new director of photography and a super talented cinematographer. He has directed and shot  several award-winning documentaries such as Mahout and Wastrel. He brings a lot of creative energy and zeal to this film, I’m so happy to be working with him.

Thank you, to all of our faithful supporters. We can’t wait to get this film in your hands.

Peace and Happiness,












Update on Kickstarter Campaign

Hello Kickstarter Friends and Backers,

Thank you again for getting our kickstarter project kicked off. I am glad to have so many of my friends, and many new friends as backers.

I feel grateful to all who have helped get our project started. Thank you all. Lets get started with some updates:

  • Did you see our new video? Please take a peak! I thought it would be best for the mothers to speak about their experiences. It’s incredibly moving!!
  • We spoke to one of the mothers in Costa Rica this week, Crescencia. She was overwhelmed to hear from us. She told us that she has been using facebook to search for her daughter. She felt incredibly blessed to have so many people helping her and sends her deepest thanks!
  • We’ve been featured on Channel 7 News in Costa Rica!! The word is getting out!! And we have been getting prositive responses from the media and fans.
  • I have sent out our press release in English and Carolina has been sending them out in Spanish to the main newspapers in Costa Rica, so we can start building awareness about our project,and ultimately help us achieve our mission: Telling the story of Mothers in Costa Rica who deserve a right to tell their side of the adoption story. Our goal is to create an informative, entertaining, and compelling film that will unite families and communities.
  • To move this project forward in Costa Rica we are currently updating the madresimagarias blog with spanish instructions about how to use kickstarter.
  • I am doing a lot of research online about the current state of adoption around the world. I recently found out that forced adoptions are still happening in the U.K! Thankfully, there are activists on the front lines defending the rights of these families and children. Many of these children end up in the sex industry. It’s unbelievably heartbreaking.

I keep getting more and more excited about how this documentary is shaping up! And every day I’m reminded of how important it is to tell this story.

All of you know that by Kickstarter rules, the project, and your generous donations, don’t become a reality unless we get 100% of our goal. Campaigning during a holiday week is not an easy task but we are determined. So I am coming to you again to ask your help in keeping this momentum going. Please help spread the word about the Imaginary Mothers Project.

Every little bit does help. It isn’t just a cliche. Email a friend, share our facebook page, talk to a co-worker.

Check out the poster I have made so you can upload to your social media sites and help spread the word.

Please feel free to contact me at anytime with any comments, suggestions, ideas. I want to hear what you have to say! Thank you again my friends.

Jacqueline Arias, and the Imaginary Mothers Team.

Here is a shorten link for our kickstarter:

Jacqueline Arias

Follow us on Twitter! Make sure to follow us on Facebook!


Kickstarter Launch

We’re launching a Kickstarter Campaign to help raise the costs of finishing this film! Please join our cause support this mission and this film.

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New Timeline about the History of Adoption in Latin America

In addition to creating a community for  Latino adoptees around the world, we will also be creating a history of international adoption in Latin America. With the help of the public and our own community, we hope to piece together  an accurate and unbiased history.

The History of Transnational Adoption throughout Central and South America. This timeline includes:

  • Enactment of Human Rights Laws
  • Personal Stories
  • News Reports on Irregular Adoptions
  • Inter-Country Policy Changes
  • International News Articles on Transnational Adoption.


Click Here to see Timeline

Would you like to add your story or an article to this timeline?  Contact us at

We are also looking for volunteers to help us develop this project. Thank you.

The Latino Adoptee Community

My biological sister shared the on the new site The Latin American Adoptee Community:

Picture 2“At a young age I was always curious about my adoption. Why was I given up for adoption. Who is my mother, father? Do I have other brothers and sisters. Is my mother still alive, does she think of me?

As I grew older this curiosity never left me. In fact I was more confident that the memories I had were real. Which lead me to wanting to learn more.

Searching information was extremely difficult. Leaving me feel empty with so many questions. I wish I would have had a place to go where I could have connected with others and learned what I know now much earlier. All I can think about is…”what if there would have been more avenues out there for me?” I would have had more time with my biological mother before she passed away.

Adoptees need more avenues to connect with others with similar experiences. Imagine an adoption community where people can connect and meet other adoptees, where they could get the help they need in finding their families and most importantly connect with their roots.”

I’ve been working on this website for about a year now and I’m so glad it’s finally live. It’s been in my thoughts for over four years and I hope it does for others what it has done for me,  become a way to reach out and connect with other latino adoptees in their area and around the world.

300,000 babies stolen from their parents

A new documentary from the BBC titled, This World: Spain’s Stolen Babies, tells the story of a 50-year old scandal.

Up to 300,000 Spanish babies were stolen from their parents and sold for adoption over a period of five decades, a new investigation reveals. 

The children were trafficked by a secret network of doctors, nurses, priests and nuns in a widespread practice that began during General Franco’s dictatorship and continued until the early Nineties.

Full Story Here

Mother’s Day

This Mothers Day I’m thinking about Helen, Maria Crescencia, Doris, Xinia and Margarita – women who have shared their stories with me for my film. Today, these mothers are waiting and praying for the chance to connect with their lost children. I really hope I can help them.

Here is a letter given to me by one Mother in Costa Rica to give to her son.

Dear Son,

I apologize if I came to stir your life, that was not my intention.
I've searched for you for 23 years and the hope to find you has kept
me alive; but my intention is not that you would recognize me as a
mom, I know that's impossible. If I've searched for you throughout
these years, it was not for guilt but for love. 

It was the circumstances that led me to this. You were the most beautiful child.
and I believe it meant a good investment for them, pity that such things 
can not be checked or proven, but I know there is a God who sees everything. 
But that's not your problem, it was mine. I just want you to know that it
did not happen for lack of love, but fatality. All these years there
was not one night I did not spend asking God to put guardian angels
around you to take care of you; and I know they have cared for you. I've had a
painful life and I'm tired, my time is over and I just want to ask you
to forgive me. I know I have no right even to ask for forgiveness.

I do not expect anything from you. I ask God to know that you were doing 
well and that you have a family to care for and to love.

I love you with all my heart and if someday you can forgive me please
send me a photo of you with your family. And if you have any
questions, I promise I'll reply with the whole truth.

Please do not take too long,

I love you,



Velvet’s behind-the-scene shots.

I’m learning many new Spanish phrases in Costa Rica. “Que dicha” is one of them,  which means bliss/happiness. This is how I would describe my new friend and recent partner for this project, Velvet Salas. Without her help with translation and camera work, I would be stumbling through these interviews.

I met Velvet last year when she auditioned for one of our reenactments. She had a powerful presence and we fell in love with her immediately. She offered to help with makeup and wardrobe and she eventually recruited her daughter, Gala, as a child actor for another one of our scenes.

We’ve been in touch over the last year via Facebook and she has remained a constant supporter from afar. When I was looking around for someone to help for this phase of production, she volunteered without hesitation.

I am enamored of her boldness and enthusiasm about the entire process. Her empathy and experience as a mother has brought a new depth to the interview process; and her insight into Costa Rican culture has helped me through the networking, scheduling and shooting process. I have asked her to operate the video camera and keep track of sound, all while
translating interviews! I can’t believe I’ve asked so much of her. Thank you Velvet. I owe you! Que dicha!



These photographs were taken by my sister, Mayela. I particularly like the composition of the tripod legs shot. I think she might be a natural. :)

Mayela is also helping me with translations, production details and our interview schedule. She’s also making my life so much easier during my stay here. She is my biological sister. Her perspective on our adoption circumstances is becoming a key part of this film and really the inspiration behind my interest in doing it in the first place. When we were reunited I was touched by how much she worried after us. She never stopped looking for us. She went through many emotions over the years: blaming herself, feeling shame for the family, feeling anger towards PANI (social services in Costa Rica) and feeling a deep loss.

The pain of adoption affects more than mothers and adopted persons. It also effects the siblings of the birth mothers and the extended family. Mayela searched for years for us. Once she found us she applied five times for her visa in order to visit us in the U.S. That’s $150 a pop. No small fee for Costa Rica. She has never asked me for anything other than to accept her love and the love of her family. Gracias, Mayela. Thank you for rounding out the edges of our renegade crew with your sweet spirit.