Leaving Children to Pave the Way (El Salvador)

My aunt Esmeralda (name changed) was born in El Salvador in 1978. She decided to come to the United States because she wanted a better future for her sons. In El Salvador it is so difficult to find a good job and also they don’t pay enough money. She and her sons lived in a house made of aluminum so it wasn’t safe. She had a job but she didn’t earn enough money to buy her sons clothes, shoes or to buy something that they would like to have.

She knew that one of her aunts and her grandmother were living in the U.S. so one day she had a good idea. She called her aunt and she asked her could you help me to pay my journey to the United States?  Her aunt said “yes, I can help you with that but you have to be sure about it because it could be so dangerous.”

Maria felt sad because she was going to leave her sons but that was the only way she could help them to have a better life. Her sons didn’t know that she was thinking about leaving her country and when she told them they started to cry, but then they understood why their mother was going to do that.

Before Esmeralda left her country she asked her mother “can you please take care of my sons?” Her mother said “of course I can take care of them”.  Esmeralda’s journey was for about 1 month and a half. She says that it wasn’t easy because she had to walk for many hours without a break and sometimes she didn’t have food to eat in the whole day and she just drank water. In her journey she met a lot of people from different countries. She says that almost every person said “I left my country because I want my children to have a better future so I won’t give up”. Her journey took so long because sometimes they had to stay in a place for many days until the coyote said that it was safe to move.

She arrived to the United States in February, 2015.  She was so happy because she made it and she said “now I’m pretty sure I will help my sons to have a better life.”  Esmeralda’s aunt offered to take care of her while she was getting used to this country. Sometimes she felt strange because she heard people speaking in English and she didn’t understand anything.  Also because the streets, houses, stores and buildings were different from El Salvador. Once she was getting used to this country she started to work because she wanted to save money to bring her children to the United States. Each month she saved money and after 2 years she had enough money to bring her children here. Now she is happy because her sons are with her and they have a better life from El Salvador.

This narrative was written by Esmeralda’s nephew.

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