My dad lived in Guatemala with his mom, dad and sister. They lived in a small neighborhood with security. He lived in a private place, not a poor area. He has an older sister and she moved to America alone.
Four months after his sister left, he woke up one morning with his dad and mom downstairs with the smell of breakfast. He sat down at the table and all of a sudden they asked him
“Would you like to move with your sister to America?” they wondered.
He felt confused and just shocked and excited. He then started to think ahead and asked them questions like,
“Would you both be okay living by yourselves? Who would take care of you both when you need help?”
They responded with they have family in Guatemala and they can get help if they ever need anything. They both also told him his sister could use some company and she will feel less homesick because they have been calling her and she wanted to come back home. They thought it wasn’t a good idea for her to come home early because then she wouldn’t get the education she needed to teach when she came back.
My dad then decided to go see her and if he didn’t like it he would come back with his sister in 4 years. He thought it was fair enough and wanted to experience different areas. He was worried about not knowing much English and not understanding what someone is trying to tell them or communicate back with them.
My dad called his sister about how he was feeling not knowing much how to speak and write English. She told him she would teach him how to speak and write in English. He agreed and was preparing to leave to America by getting paperwork done and getting a visa to arrive in America.
Once he was prepared to leave and had everything ready to go he couldn’t stop thinking about arriving in america but at the same time he knew he would miss his family. Then it was finally time to leave in the morning; almost all of his family came to say goodbye just like when his sister left and it was hard for him to leave but he was trying to stay positive to see his sister and start a new life.
It was about 8 hours to arrive in San Francisco, California and his sister would be waiting for him. He could already hear different languages around him but was more focused on finding his sister. When he found her he can see she looks different! More makeup, wearing a suit and heels. He compared himself to her and felt different next to her and others around him. His sister then went to the parking lot and she also had a new car! They were in the car just catching up on their lives and he knew this was the beginning of a new chapter in his life.
My dad’s sister then took him to San Jose where her apartment was. They were also trying to find a job in San Jose and he found a company called Kelly Moore Paint. His job was to carry the paints to the right section and where they belong.
He worked for 5 years and after those years he immediately had to stop because of an accident. He broke his back from carrying heavy paint for so long. He had to get surgery twice and sat in bed for a month to heal. He got better but he couldn’t go back to work.
My dad was with his girlfriend by this time and it was also time for his sister to leave back to Guatemala. My dad didn’t want to leave because he was already living a life with his girlfriend. His sister told him to stay if he was happy here and she would keep him updated in Guatemala.
He stayed in America and lived in a house in Stockton and they had me. We moved to different areas and went back to San Jose and now to San Carlos. Then they had my brother so it was four of us. My dad then decided to buy a house in Salinas and he became a manager for a car business. He got it going and found people to work for him. He now knows English and how to write from his sister.
His sister still calls him till this day to check up and see how it’s going. She became a teacher in Guatemala and is now teaching her students English and my dad is a manager for a car business. He loves where he is in life now and has become successful with us as a family and having friends.
This story was written by Alyson Ruiz, a 9th grader in Redwood City.