1994 was when everything went downhill in Mexico. I wasn’t getting enough money to provide for my family, and if it wasn’t for the money I would still be in Michoacan. My two friends and I decided to leave El Sauz De Magaña Michoacan the Rancho, where I was raised, to come to the United States.
The jobs in Mexico did not pay well, and the plants that we planted did not give a lot of money. I wanted to provide my family with more money for a better future. And to do so, I had to cross the line to make el sueno americano (the dream of an American). To come to the United States I had to borrow from close family, and I also had to sell many and kill some of my cows to get money. I know that if I had stayed in Mexico, I would have been broke without any money, and I would probably owe a lot of money because it was hard to provide for my family.
I left behind my wife, my son, and daughter that was on the way. It took us 30 days to get to the United States. We took a bus to California. We got stopped by la migra a few times but we wouldn’t give up. My mind was set to providing my family with money and a better future. When we got to California it wasn’t what I expected. Everybody that had left the Rancho to come to the United States would picture America different to us, that America was prettier and better.
I wasn’t satisfied with the jobs I was offered in California, so I got on a plane with my friends and came to Washington. My friends said that they had family here in Washington, and that they would help us find a job. When I first got to Washington, I lived with six other guys in West Seattle. We all paid one hundred dollars of rent each month and one hundred dollars for food. I was working at a Plant Nursery with a low wage. Few months passed and that was when I met my boss, and he asked my friends and I, if we wanted to work for him in his Landscaping Company. I worked about a few months with my boss, but it was hard to communicate at first, yet we managed to understand each other. I mentioned I wanted to bring my familia de Mexico (bring my family from Mexico). In October of 1995, I saved enough money and borrowed some from my boss to bring my family from Mexico. It took my wife and 2 kids a week to arrive to Washington. I had enough money to bring them with a coyote (a person who guides them).
I am still working in the same Landscaping Company with the same boss. It has been 22 years since I left my Rancho and that I have been working here in the United States. I am glad I left because I was able to provide my kids with good education and good jobs. Mis tres hijos an ido a ( my three kids have gone to ) a good high school. I would have not been able to afford education for my kids in Mexico. Although sometimes I miss Mexico, because I have family over there; I hope that one day I can go back.
This story was written by the immigrant’s daughter, a student in Washington.