Nicole Salgado is an artist, educator, environmental conservation and social justice advocate based in the Washington, D.C. metro area. From 2006 – 2022, she resided in the Central Mexican Highlands of Querétaro, Mexico. In addition to Amor and Exile, she is also the author of The Bajio’s Bounty, a Mexican cookbook.
Nicole is originally from Central New York, where she attended Cornell University along with her co-author Nathaniel Hoffman, graduating as a Bachelor of Science. After college she relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area where she worked as program manager for the Log Cabin Ranch native plant nursery and organic gardens in La Honda, a vocational rehabilitation program for incarcerated youth run by the San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners, from 1999-2003. She then joined the science department faculty at Notre Dame High School, Belmont from 2004-2006. While at NDB Nicole earned her M.A. from San Jose State University for the development and implementation of an innovative environmental stewardship class. While in California, Nicole also worked with the Association of Bay Area Governments, San Mateo County Audubon Society, and served on the Board of Directors of the San Gregorio Environmental Resource Center from 1998-2002.
In 2006, Salgado moved into voluntary exile in Central Mexico with her husband Margarito Reséndiz. They met in 1999, when both had recently arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area. Margo, originally from Querétaro, México, was working as a carpenter at the time, and immediately informed Nicole he had an immigration record, but she was certain that he would not encounter any problems once they were married. They soon learned the truth: with a permanent bar, her husband’s only chance for legal status was to leave the U.S. and wait 10 years to apply for re-entry. Two years after they married in 2004, they moved to Querétaro to get the 10-year clock ticking.
When Salgado made the intensely personal decision to accompany Margo to México, she was aware that it would have an indelible impact on her life and her professional trajectory. Culture shock, the Mexican economy, and health issues turned her life upside down. But she also put down new roots—built a green home with her husband, had a daughter in 2010, and eventually became a dual citizen of México.
After completing their home, Salgado began environmental consulting and teaching English locally. She also began to write, starting with The Bajio’s Bounty, a local cookbook, which she authored, illustrated and self-published in 2009. She began collaborating on Amor and Exile with Nathaniel Hoffman in 2011, which they self-published under the Cordillera West Books imprint in 2013. In 2009, Salgado began to collaborate with Peace Corps México, and has served as their environmental education program and training specialist since 2014.
Salgado is passionate about storytelling that promotes understanding of the impacts of current immigration law on binational families like hers, and since publication, has partnered with advocacy and academic venues dedicated to advancing dialogue toward greater awareness. Despite the hardships they’ve faced, she considers herself fortunate and remains committed to working for positive social change. In October of 2019, a year after Reséndiz’s waiver was approved, he and Salgado traveled to the U.S. Ciudad Juarez, México where his permanent resident visa was finally approved. After remaining Mexico-based during the first 2.5 years of the Covid-19 pandemic, Salgado and her family finally relocated to the Washington, D.C., area in fall 2022, in a new U.S.-based role with Peace Corps. While they embrace the legal victory they achieved together with their supporters, and the opportunity to reunite with Stateside family and friends, the family continues to unpack the emotional, health, economic, and cultural legacy of 16 years in exile, of equal parts grief, joy, and discovery. Their process affirms their sentiment in support of the right of geographic and cultural self-determination of migrants everywhere.
In addition to immigration advocacy, Salgado is an active supporter of conservation and education efforts in the U.S. and México, and always wants to blog more than she actually does. She also enjoys hiking, birding, biking, music, photography, gardening, and spending time with family and friends.