Category Archives: California

Escape from Nazis; A Career as Tailor and Men’s Clothier

In 1938, a small humble family of Jews in Vienna, Austria, enjoyed their supper, but in a matter of seconds, their lives changed forever. A neighbor called them and told them to turn on their radio. They all listened closely to the static sound of the radio. Austrian President Wilhelm Miklas, announced that Hitler of Germany had given him an ... Read More »

Scottish Lass Seeks a Man and a Tan

Anna Fiorina immigrated to California in 1962 from Scotland. She was born in 1941 to an Italian/Scots couple named Armando(Andy) and Kathy Bertellotti. They had married in 1936 against their parents wishes ,partly because he was Italian and she a Scot and partly because of religion, Catholic and Protestant. They ran a small fish and chip shop in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire ... Read More »

Thulan Ly: Cosmetologist and Chemical Engineer

  In South Vietnam, the famous, and well-known Ly family enjoyed life and observing their traditions. Thulan’s father had a successful business, but turned it over to one of his sons so he could become a monk while spending two years in a cave at the top of Ba Den Mountain.  When he returned to his family’s land he erected a ... Read More »

Rafael – Immigration Story of a Family Reunited

It’s not uncommon for families to separate as one or more go to the US first to establish roots and some security before the others come.  Rafael was brought up in El Salvador by extended family until he was 4 years old and got the call to rejoin his mother. Rafael was one of the featured Storytellers at our “Walk of ... Read More »

Karolina – Hard-working DREAMer Teen

Karolina is a high school student who works as many hours as she can at a grocery store. She’s not saving money to buy a car or a prom dress. She’s working to help her family survive. Karolina was one of the storytellers at our “Walk of DREAMers” event and here is her emotion-filled video. To view the other five ... Read More »

Dulce: The Most Challenging Path is the Most Rewarding

Dulce chose a college that was about as far from her environment and comfort-zone as she could imagine….and what a great choice it turned out to be. Dulce was born in Uruapan, Michoacan, Mexico and immigrated to the Bay Area when they were 8 years old. Dulce’s family settled in Hayward, which is where Dulce attended middle school and high ... Read More »

Dania and Alberto Fleeing Mexico

  “ No, don’t take me I didn’t do anything”! Alberto screamed as the head drug lord threatened him to join their cartel.   Alberto, and his wife Dania were persecuted by the drug cartels in Michoacan, Mexico. Frequently the reason that people leave their roots, culture, and traditions in Mexico, is to m escape poverty and create a better ... Read More »

Lalo – From the Strawberry Fields to UC Santa Cruz

As a 10 year old, Lalo would wake up at 5 AM, and work next to his mother picking strawberries in Michoacan – first remembering to take off his only pair of shoes. Later they emigrated to the US where he pursues a college degree and hopes one day for a pathway to citizenship and operating a small family business. ... Read More »

Valeria Lorenzo, DREAMer Tribute

A poignant story of loss and grief.  A DREAMer frequently leaves family behind and can no longer go to visit them once they try to build a new home and future in the US. Valeria works as an instructional aid for the special education department of a Bay Area High School. She came to the US when she was 13 years old.   ... Read More »

Angel Barragan – Deportation Story

Angel’s mother was doing well as a hairdresser while his father was  gainfully employed as a construction worker. The kids were all doing well in school. The “American Dream” seemed accessible as they moved to a better apartment and purchased a car.  Then the dream turned into a nightmare. Angel is a DREAMer who came to California at the age of 10. ... Read More »

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