In 1979, being born in México, Pachuca Hidalgo, a busy, but yet an enchanting big city. my father, at the age of 16, takes the risk to make his journey to illegally immigrate to the U.S, where he now ultimately lives in Northern California, with his family. I, Esther, am his oldest daughter out of five other siblings in the household. During my father’s free time at home, he enjoys in drawing and watching TV. Without any hesitation, acknowledging his competitiveness in playing sports, he invites everyone living at home to play a quick game of volleyball or soccer at the park. Not to forget, he also sets an atmosphere, where everyone is willing to express their true colors without any feeling or regret of embarrassment.
Being aware that this journey was going to be difficult and dangerous, this type understanding motivated my father to be optimistic. Why? He likes the fact of being challenged, he believes that going through more discipline is the only way to become stronger and hold accountable for. He knew that his life was on the line. Despite this fear that haunted him through the journey, “mantener fe en Dios,” translating into “maintaining faith in God” is what encouraged him to crave for survival.
As everyone knows, “no fue facil,” which means “it was not easy,” making the point that making this choice to immigrate to the U.S from his original residence was difficult. This decision to immigrate to the U.S was inspired by the comprehension of what hard work leads to, especially when thinking about the future. He knew that his parents would not take care of him forever, thus, taking this mission to action.
My father wanted to learn about “el nuevo mundo, las nuevas cosas,” meaning, “the new world, new things.” He wanted to make a new living like his older siblings who were already in U.S. Likewise, he felt secure about this journey in some way since he had older siblings in the U.S waiting for him, basically, lending him a hand.
My father mentioned how he was almost caught by the border patrol. Of course, he was exhausted throughout the entire journey. Was it worth it? He asked himself as reflecting his experience. All he thought was how his childhood experience helped him throughout this situation. Ultimately his target, which was making it into the U.S seemed far but close, just by looking at the bright side of his goal.
Finally making it to the U.S he already had a home to live in, which obviously was his older sibling’s house. However, after this journey, he planned to stay with his older brother until he made enough money to make his own living, by working. After immigrating to the U.S, he lived in the Bay Area in Northern California, and continued to move to different cities within that region.
The hardest obstacle that he faced at the beginning of his new life in the U.S was the English language. He felt embarrassed and sad when he was not able to defend himself or communicate with the people around him, especially when he went to work. Despite that, as he spends his years living in the U.S, he started to understand the meanings English words. Although what he knew was little, it helped him make an easier living in his community.
In these current days, life for my father is much easier than fifteen years ago when he immigrated to the U.S. Moreover, he has adjusted to his new residence, yet, he truthfully misses his original homeland and his parents. For example, he misses the Church he attended from a very young age, his friends that he left behind, and the lifestyle. He sends money in order to support his family in México. Now he has a house in México under construction, which it is almost at completion, where he plans to take my siblings and I to live there once it is done. Lastly, making a living here in the U.S, he has developed a sense of stability, he knows how to control the use of money and his priorities. What he appreciates most is the fact that he was able to raise a family, have his children, like me, grow up to live in a community, where I am given the opportunity to be educated and a secure future.
This story was written by the daughter, Esther, after interviewing her father.