Freedom is Something Worth Fighting For

This is the desert of Uruapan, Mexico. Photo by Simbioikos

Your freedom is something you should always fight for.

“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”-Martin Luther King Jr.

My name is Jose Jimenez, I was very poor and had 9 other siblings. I grew up in Uruapan, Mexico. It is extremely hot and used to be a very small town. I was unaware of all the cruelties in the world because I was so young and did not worry. But looking back, my mother and father often struggled to make ends meet and to give us food, let alone get us toys or luxuries. I was very grateful to have family friends with money, who gave me and my brothers car toys to play with. ”Jugábamos con carritos en la tierra”…We played with cars in the dirt. But the best thing we could have ever received was shoes and clothing. My face lit up when I saw that they had purchased me a new pair of shoes.

I also had no education. Once I was done with about the 5th grade, I left school to help my father work on the family ranch. And I had to help provide for the family (food and clothing). I also would go hunting for fun with my brothers.

I left to seek a job and a better future. I came here to raise a family in better conditions than I ever had. I came to the US in search of freedom and success. But little did I know I would meet my soulmate and have three beautiful children.

I came in a truck with a coyote and two of my cousins; the trip was long and hard. We used false papers to enter the US. I left in 1995.

When I arrived, I lived with one of my older sisters, who had come before me to raise her family here. “Se embarazo cuando tenia nomas 15 anos”… She got pregnant when she was only fifteen. We lived in an apartment building here in EPA. There was also one of my other sisters and even one of my brothers living in the same apartment building. One day, about a month or so after I arrived, my sister was asked to leave due to my noisiness and cars that I had a fascination with. I would often get speeding tickets for driving way too fast in BORROWED cars.  Once I arrived, I also got a job and began to save up money.

I then met your mother through some of my nephews, who went to school with her. When we were dating, we would go out and all your uncles and aunts would make me pay for their food as well.

Now that I have my own family and kids, I realize that all I had to live through was worth it. All I have ever wanted was for my kids to receive the education I never got, and I want them to have doors open to them as far as the eye can see. I do not want them working like I do out in the hot sun, and coming home tired like I do. I want a better future for them. This is why I work so hard to give my kids everything they have ever wanted/needed. I am now even a legal U.S. citizen.

This story was written by the immigrant’s daughter, a student in the Bay Area. 

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