International

A Hunger Strike Earns Mexican Teen A Trip To The Royal Wedding

Estibalis Chavez paints a portrait of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton in front of the British Embassy in Mexico City. i i

hide captionEstibalis Chavez paints a portrait of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton in front of the British Embassy in Mexico City.

Alexandre Meneghini/AP
Estibalis Chavez paints a portrait of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton in front of the British Embassy in Mexico City.

Estibalis Chavez paints a portrait of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton in front of the British Embassy in Mexico City.

Alexandre Meneghini/AP

Estibalis Chavez, 19, is headed to London next week. Chavez made headlines in February when she staged a 16-day hunger strike in front of the British embassy in Mexico City. She thought with the stunt, she could score an invitation to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton and at the same time present them with an oil painting she had made of the couple.

El Heraldo de Tabasco reports that the hunger strike earned Chavez the nickname "the embassy lunatic."

But, the AP reports, after all was said and done, Chavez got her wish: Yesterday, she left her home in the northern slums of Mexico City and is headed to London thanks to Octavio Fitch Lazo, a good samaritan who bought her the plane ticket:

"It moved me to see that no one understood her very well ... I think she is right to fight for what she wants," said Octavio Fitch Lazo, a member of an association that is lobbying Mexico's congress to adopt silver coinage.

The BBC spoke to Chavez:

"At the time I didn't see it as something so drastic and dramatic," she said. "[People] said I risked my health for something many believe to be frivolous and silly. But, I think that for me, it was the only way to achieve my goal."

She was repeatedly told by British officials that there were no more invitations available.

And the truth is, it all does sound rather frivolous, until you get to Chavez's life story. Her mother died giving birth to her, so Chavez grew up hearing stories about how much her mother adored Princess Diana. And she's thought many times how much her mother would have liked to have attended Prince Charles and Diana's wedding.

Mexico's El Universal reports that Chavez grew up on fairy tales:

Since she was four-years-old, Chavez grew up looking at pictures, drawing, and reading about princes and princesses — it was a world completely different than the marginal place in which she lives: a house with a tin roof in which flies circle mounds of dirty clothes around strewn in corners.

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