Maria

The following interview was conducted by Castilleja School student, Meg Johnson, at the Day Worker Center of Mountain View.The name of the interviewee has been changed.

I was born in the capital of Mexico, Mexico City. After living there I was in Michoacán for 10 years. Michoacán is close to Mexico City; it is very beautiful and is a tourist attraction. A lot of people go to Michoacán because there are a lot of places to visit. A lot! And there are also many natural attractions. And also butterflies! There are many red and yellow butterflies.

I have three kids, two girls and one boy and I want my kids to study. Right now, my girl is studying in college and my youngest girl is in primary school and I give money to them. Basically, I am in the United States to give money to my kids. It is really sad because some think that life here is easy. I have lived here for three years and life here is very hard as well.

I left my house in December and did not get here until April. So, I spent 4 months trying to cross the border. It was not easy. We tried to cross many times. One time, we were walking for 6 days. We did not have any money and not a lot of food or water. When I got here I was very thankful because the Day Workers Center gave me food and work. There are a lot of nice people here. But, when we were crossing it was very hard because during the winter time it was very cold and then when winter time was over it was very hot. It is not easy. It is very hard.

Some days, I would not have food, only water because we don’t want to carry too many things. During the day it was very hot and then during the night it is very cold. There was not much food and water and when it would get hot we would look for a lake to drink out of. Here in the states, you do not need to look for water, but crossing the border you do. It was very very hot in the desert. But when I found work here, it was worth it because 10 dollars here is 100 pesos back in Mexico. There is no money in Mexico, but more money here.

I come here every day at seven o’clock; then I go to work. Right now I work in Cupertino as a nanny to a little girl. I pick her up from school and then take her home and other places.
When I first got here the first thing I did was look for a job. Someone recommended me to work in a hotel.

I have not seen my kids for three years. I see them in pictures and I speak to them on the phone but it is not the same as being with them. My youngest daughter is 13 years old and my oldest daughter is 18 years old, in high school. My daughter wants to become a chef!

The life here is almost the same as my life in Mexico. It is very difficult, but I am doing it for my kids. I am doing it so that they can study in their life. I just want them to study. My oldest son is the manager at Domino’s pizza and he likes it. He studies a lot because I am working a lot.

My kids are very wonderful. They are all very beautiful They are living by themselves and they are great in their own way. They are great kids for me and they are the best part of my life. I love them very much. It is not an easy life here, but I am doing it for my kids. I could not ask for better kids.

I wish for my kids to come here. Possibly when they are older and when I become a citizen. Then they can cross the border legally and it is much easier! I like everything in Mexico, but I also like how everyone accepted me when I came here. American people are very nice and beautiful. They treat me well, they give me food, and are friendly. In Mexico they do not do that, but here they do.

My inspiration in life is my kids. Without a doubt. My advice for them is to study hard for a good and better future.

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