Crossing to the “Land of the Better”

“they taste nothing like the ones sold over there huh?…”, I said to him. He only smiled and said, “todo aya sabe mejor…” “everything over there tastes better…”.

I was only 19 when we chose to make this decision…… my husband and I believed that coming to the United States would be as simple as the answer everyone gives – the easy path to a better life and more opportunities. I never put in much thought about everything that I would be leaving behind….. my best friend Nancy, my home, the land in which I was raised, and my family. I was leaving a lot behind however I knew all the pain would be worth it. I wanted to be here, I wanted that life, the life every dreamer like me had back in my hometown, and I never gave up that dream.

When my husband and I first arrived we stayed in East Palo Alto which is where my family and I still live. My husband’s family played a really big role in helping us rise, they were there every step of the way. I don’t think we would be who we are now without them.We were really dedicated to finding a stable job to help guide us. Once we found it my husband and I became extremely grateful. Treasuring it and keeping it till this day.
Since I got to cross on a much “safer” note than my husband, I remember waiting in line and seeing La Migra ,the Immigration police, and their shiny badges… standing tall and proud in the uniforms they wore. A lot of hate came to me as I saw them, but I then realized they were normal people like me although with uniforms and with no heart toward their people. My husband decided to cross before me since he was “the man”, he crossed “la frontera,” the border, with many men through el cerro the hills over the valley. The many times he has described to me what it was like I can hear the pain and sorrow in his voice, he lost a couple of friends on the way here, which is why taking on this risk was very dangerous… since he stood in the thin line between life and death.

Just like me, he had the same mindset of work, work, work, and everything would be fine. After I crossed, my husband’s brother helped me get to him from San Diego and all I remember seeing while I crossed was a small Burger King restaurant and buying the worst hamburger I have ever eaten, “no sabe nada parecido a las que venden allá veda?…” “they taste nothing like the ones sold over there huh?…”, I said to him he only smiled and said, “todo aya sabe mejor…” “everything over there tastes better…”.

I always said crossing was not hard to not seem weak. The truth is crossing has been the toughest thing I have ever done. I had to wait for the right moment to make a move. It was nerve wrecking. You’re left in anticipation for what is to happen, just like the feeling you get when waiting for a balloon to pop. I was caught by la migra once although I returned and made my way to my husband towards “the land of the better”.

I thank God for letting me be here with my family; till this day I do not regret making that decision because it now benefits my two daughters, my husband and I. My mother, father, and sister travel to the US to see us once in awhile. My husband has his own landscaping business and I clean a couple of houses. With the money we make, it is enough to raise our two daughters and give them a life we never had and a life they deserve. After 17 years of struggling we are currently in the process of obtaining our citizenship and before long we will be making it back to our hometown La Estancia in Zamora, Michoacan Mexico the place in which we found love and happiness.

The story was written by a student who interviewed her mother.

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