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A Kona woman is revitalizing her father's coffee farm years after he was deported

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A Kona woman is revitalizing her father's coffee farm years after he was deported

Losing a five-year-long legal battle, Andres Magana Ortiz was deported from Kona back to Mexico in 2017 after his worker's visa expired. 

His eldest daughter, Victoria Magana, who was 21 years old at the time, stepped up to help her family in Ortiz's absence. 

"I had to see how my family was going to survive, basically, because my dad was our support financially, I mean he put me through school," Magana said. 

Completing school was no easy feat for Magana. Her mother, who is a citizen, was recovering from back surgery at the time so she was not working. 

To help put food on the table for her then 12-year-old brother and 14-year-old sister, Magana managed her father's coffee farm in Kona with the help of family friends and employees -- while studying part-time at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo. 

A year later, Magana graduated with degrees in business administration and sociology.

"That's something big for us Hispanics, I'm first-generation," Magana added. 

With a college education under her belt, Magana spent the past several years advancing the farm.

Instead of selling raw materials, the business now retails its own roasted coffee. Products launched last week under a new name, Misma Lani.

In Spanish, Misma means "same" -- and Magana felt it fitting to pair the term with the Hawaiian word for sky, lani. 

"When my dad left it was really hard and I think it just kind of comforted me to know that he was seeing the same thing I was, and so that's why I chose that name," Magana explained. 

The new name, Magana said, is a tribute to both her father and other families who are separated by deportation -- a pain she lives with every day. 

"You can live with it but it's really hard because day to day, you miss part of your family," Magana said. 

"A lot of people think that deportation, the physical deportation, is the worst part, but it's not, it's like afterward, living moments without your family close."

Magana's father just got a visa application approved, but the family is still waiting on approval for another permit in the hopes he will return home with them. 

 

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