Down the Same Road

My mom had been debating about parting Oaxaca to the United States. This meant not being able to play with my friends after school, leaving behind all of my special friendships. Things were going to be extremely tough but I knew it was for a better future. At least I had this opportunity while my close friends didn’t. The plan was for my two sisters, my mom, and myself to go to the United States. The way we would get there would be to walk and be jammed in the back of a minivan with other immigrants. I was 7 when all of this happened, I didn’t imagine walking three days, all in search of the American Dream.

I said goodbye to all of my friends and family and packed all of my belongings before heading to the first checkpoint. The things I brought with me were cheese, tortillas, garlic, and a gallon of water. I walked with my sisters and mother to my uncle’s house, the one who would lead the way, el coyote. Helping out your family was not common between my mom and her siblings. He charged each of us $2,000. He took us to meet 10 other people he would be leading as well.

“Off,  please get off and follow me to the exit”  I heard the flight attendant say after I woke with her voice. My family and I got off the plane and made our way to a car that was waiting for us and other families. We waited in a not mansion but big enough house with other families, that were also after the American Dream. We waited two days in this house until a group of guys came for us, to move on to the next step,walking. Walk for three days. 

“Off” the driver said, “Follow this guy he will take you to the other said and keep quiet” We did as we were told and followed the guy as they walked during the night, stumbling on tall weeds that were twice the size of our bodies. We ate early in the morning, usually when the sun was the hottest under whatever shade they could find, if we were lucky. I ran out of clean water, since we didn’t think the trip was going to take three days.  There was no other option but to drink dirty water.

We waited until dark, when the only light was the tower lights shining over the tall weeds. My mom put three layers of clothes on me and wrapped the garlic around my feet. There were many snakes and the garlic “scared” them away. Twenty minutes after we started walking and I had already fallen on stumps and gotten slapped with the tall weeds. It was quiet all along, the only noise we could hear was the grass folding in half. The only time we stopped was to eat, during the day and sleep.

My mom grabbed dirty pond water and put it in my gallon bottle. I drank it and by around 3 in the morning my stomach started hurting and we had to stop. No one had clean water we had ran out, but they were lying. There was a group of men who said we were going to get caught, because of my sisters and I. They had a gatorade in their backpacks. My uncle screamed to everyone and took their bags and found the gatorade. “Van a ver en el levanton!”, You’ll see at the pickup, my uncle said. After 30 minutes we started walking again.

After three long, hot sweaty tiring days they reached the end where we were stuffed in a truck as if we were animals and made our way to Missouri.

Going to school early and going to school until 6om was part of my life for four three years. When my sisters and I got home we would have to watch videos, to learn English. This was the beginning of chasing the American Dream. Juan entered AV when he was going into 8th grade year. I went to AV my freshman year, this is when I met Juan and discovered we had something special in common, we had gone through the same hardships.

Juan and I got closer and closer during the year. We would go play soccer after school with other close friends. During sophomore year we heard about DACA out of our 5 close friends Juan and I were the only ones who needed this, since we were illegal. We were both anxious about DACA because of the opportunities it offered. DACA is an American immigration policy which allows illegal immigrants, that meet certain requirements, who entered the country before their 16th birthday and before 2007 to receive a renewable two year work permit and exemption from deportation, along with other advantages. DACA could be considered a once in a lifetime opportunity because only certain people could apply for it.

Juan and I wanted DACA so we could go to college after high school. We will be first generation in our families to go to college in our family this was extremely great because we know our future will change, we will not be minimum wage workers, but instead we have the opportunity to go to college and be something greater. Juan is currently saving up. To get all of his paper work done. This will be done by July. He hopes to have this done by senior year so he can go off to college and reach the successful future he has always wanted to have. For myself I already have DACA and my goal as of now is to continue getting good grades in high school to obtain scholarships. I have been accepted to Rockhurst, which seems to be my best shot as of now. My family is part of the middle working social class. Being in this spot makes it hard for me to pay $33,000 for one year of college at Rockhurst. My parents are working hard, as well as myself so our dream of me going to college is accomplished.

I open my eyes, the clock says 6:00AM, I rub my eyes, get up while wanting to keep on sleeping. I make my way towards the kitchen, turn on the lights, and make coffee. While waiting for the coffee to be ready. I walk into the restroom open the cabinets door and take my tooth brush out with the toothpaste and brush my teeth. Then put on my work clothes. The clock hits 6:30, I go outside take a deep breath, and say to myself; let’s see how this day goes. I have been working for the same company for over 10 years. I work in construction and digging holes to set up tv cables. It is hard sometimes because of the weather. During this time of year there is not a lot of work. I get to the company take orders and go to work. After a long day I go back home. When I get home I am too tired to do anything else, but I push myself to not be lazy and repair the house here and there. This is my daily routine, weekend comes and I might work saturday, if I don’t I relax. On Sunday it is a day to have some family time. The weekend is over, to work at 6:00am tomorrow again. I feel a lot of pressure, stress. I start thinking why I do this? What lessons in life have I learned that inspire me to do better? I have a healthy family, two trucks, a house and why do I have this? Well because I work and work non-stop and my family pushes me to do better.

***

This is the everyday process of my father, a hardworking man that did not finish 5th grade. He struggles everyday to give me and my family a better life. He has worked hard all of his life. In order for us to have moved up the social scale, in 10 years I see myself working as a civil engineer.

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2 thoughts on “Down the Same Road

  1. Great story. The journey to the U.S. was very compelling. The only issue I have is the organization. It feels like several stories were combined: the journey, friendship with Juan, father’s story, and future aspirations. They are all worth telling, but you may want to consider the way in which you combine them. Thanks for sharing!

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