Dreaming in Spanish
An Unexpected Love Story In Puerto Vallarta

By Sara Alvarado

ISBN: 978-1-955656-48-1


At age twenty-four, Sara Alvarado bought a one-way ticket from the Midwest to Mexico, determined to heal from years of hard partying and sexual trauma. In this raw and inspiring memoir, Sara takes readers on a journey as she struggles with being newly sober, unexpectedly in love–and then suddenly, terrifyingly pregnant. Guided from afar by her wise and loving mother and her emerging spiritual connection, Sara confidently (yet full of self-doubt) faces the complexity of a multicultural marriage and motherhood in a foreign country. In vivid, storytelling prose, Sara shares the messy dance between cultures, classes, languages, traditions, white privilege, and a desire to belong. This epic love story confronts tough topics and uncertainty in an honest voice that is refreshing and witty.

292 page softcover

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Sara Alvarado

Sara Alvarado is a white woman married to a Mexican man with two multicultural, bilingual children. She is a writer, speaker, co-conspirator, and fierce advocate working for racial equity in real estate. Sara published the Racial Justice Toolkit for Real Estate Professionals, a Guide for Change Agents, and numerous articles and essays. Sara and her husband feel most at home in Madison, Wisconsin, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. SaraAlvarado.com


Soul-filling! This enchanting story of hope, humanness, adventure, and love brings us face-to-face with our own understanding of what it means to surrender and begin to trust again. Sara Alvarado shares a story from Madison to L.A. to Mexico that allowed my soul to feel the weaving of courage, heartbreak, hope, strength, softness, and surrender on the same day. This memoir grabbed my heart.

Allison Crow, author of Unarmored: Finding Home in the Wild Edges of Being Human

Often, moms squeeze into tight, neat, socially acceptable boxes out of fear of being seen as “unfit” or “unsafe.” We sanitize our stories and deny our humanity, hoping to be seen as “good” mothers. Through Dreaming in Spanish, Sara Alvarado gives us complexity and fullness and an invitation to be whole.

Sagashus Levingston, PhD, author of Infamous Mothers and Covet: the “Disrespectful” Health and Wellness Journal

Sara Alvarado’s memoir, Dreaming in Spanish, details her story from a Midwestern white girl who studies Spanish and tries to escape her demons with alcohol, men, and mischief by heading south of the border. Her brutal honesty, unforeseen tragedies, and ultimate redemption from her past serve as a reminder of how hard life really is, even with the privilege that skin color and economic status provide. Sara’s memoir is important to showcase that there are times in our lives, sometimes in the depths of our journey, when we can learn the most about ourselves.

Oscar Mireles, poet laureate of Madison, Wisconsin (2016−2020)