I was 8 years old. I had just exited school like I always do at 6:00 pm and am now in my way to my grandmother’s house. As I walk through the town of Aguila, Mexico with my mom I could see all of the people I know and how I wave “hi” to all. The whole time I was walking with my mom she seemed distracted like she was in deep concentration. I could feel just how tense my mom was. You can feel it in the air. Something big was going to happen. I could now smell the food my grandmother was cooking in her home. My mom fixes my long blonde hair and looks into my green eyes with her brown eyes and tells me, “Claudia porfavor te comportas.” Which means, “Claudia please behave.”
School started at 1:00pm and ended at 6:00pm. I would always go to my grandmother’s house after school to help her out around the house and cook. I have always enjoyed school and always want to learn more. It was always exciting for me to know and learn that there was more out there in the world beyond just Mexico. After, I help my grandmother I go and play with my cousins until it get dark outside.
My mom for awhile now has been talking to my aunts and uncles from America – her siblings. Things in Mexico weren’t working out that well and my mom wanted my sister and I to get a better education, so she decided that we should move to America where her whole family is. My mom when she was explaining to me that we were leaving Mexico to America she told me that we deserved to have a better education and future. Also, that we would get to meet our mom’s side of the family. At the time I didn’t really understand that this trip to America will become my new home.
My mom, sister, dad, and I were on our way to the airport. It was in the summer of 2008. My dad was driving us there, but he wouldn’t be going with us. He had to stay in Mexico. Before the plane took off I thought about how much I am going to miss Mexico. The plane ride wasn’t as long as I imagined. It was my first time on a plane. When we landed I couldn’t believe that I was now in America. My uncle picked us up from the airport. America was so different from Mexico. Everywhere I looked I saw huge buildings, people, cars etc.
My mom, my sister, and I stayed with mom’s mom in her house. When I first got off the plane I could clearly tell that the temperature is much more cooler than in Mexico. It was nice at first because I got to meet my mom’s family and see all of my relatives that I have never meet before. But, after a while it was really hard for me. I was so use to it just being my mom, dad, sister and me but, now I have my whole family from my mom’s side being constantly here it was chaotic. When I first met my cousin Fabi it was all really weird. I had never met her before and now she is living with me in my maternal grandma’s house.I noticed after a couple of months she seemed very annoyed and frustrated. At the time I didn’t know why but, as I got older I finally understood. It was hard for her too, to have so much family around.
I am constantly missing my family from Mexico. I miss being able to go to their house all of the time and not need to have to get on a plane in order to see them in person. I am happy for social media because that way I am able to talk to my cousins and aunts a lot more and are able to see what they are up too. I am especially grateful for having the opportunity to be able to see them every couple of years which I take fully advantage of. I miss the whole atmosphere of Mexico, the food, the people, and the festivals. I miss especially being able to go to so many different holidays than over here in America. Christmas is something we celebrate fully and all out. We also celebrate Easter, September 16th for Independence Day and December 12th for the day of the Virgin Mary. I always looked forward to those dates because everything was always so fun. But,now I am able to celebrate them also here and see how it’s different from Mexico. Like I get to get a glimpse of how both Mexico and America celebrate these dates.
As for the future I want to get a masters in English and History. I am a Sophmore in high school and am looking forward to what the future holds for me. I also hope to be able to travel the world because I have always loved to travel. My love for traveling is because I want to be able to see what is out there in the real world. Also, be able to have new opportunities.
Thanks to living now in America I have been able to meet some of my cousins that I am now super close with, be able to experience things I know I wouldn’t be able to in Mexico, and just I think – finding myself as a person and now knowing what I actually want in life. I might now live in America but, I know that for me Mexico will always be dear to my heart and I am for sure going to visit there as often as possible in the future.
This is the story of Claudia Mendoza , who was interviewed by her cousin, Jennifer Valencia Chavez, a 9th grader in Redwood City, CA.