Leaving War Torn El Salvador



My name is Alex Rodriguez and I am the Uncle of my interviewer.  I was born in El Salvador in 1983.  I was 8 years old when I was forced to immigrate to the USA for a better life, leaving some of my family in El Salvador. Now living in CA, I have a job and I am able to send money to my loved ones in El Salvador. My hobbies are going on hikes in my free time. My interests are soccer and cars. 

During the time that I was in El Salvador, war was going on. I grew up with violence, sometimes not being able to go to sleep due to gunshots. There were times when I had to hide under my bed for protection growing up while still being a kid. My parents and I decided to move to the USA, because we didn’t want to risk our lives staying in El Salvador, we also were in poverty looking for money to survive. The decision of immigrating to the USA was mainly my Grandma’s idea because she wanted her grandchildren to go to school in America and get a career when we grew up, due to poverty in El Salvador. On our way to the USA my mom got caught by immigration. Luckily My Dad, sister, and I didn’t get caught crossing to the USA. The experience caused my sister to start crying daily.

I remember my Dad telling my sister that everything was going to be okay and that mom was coming back in a few months. My mom attempted crossing to the USA again and this time she did not get stopped. When I arrived in the USA, it was challenging for my family to survive the first few months because my Dad took a while to find a job and we didn’t have a place to sleep. Me and my sister went to school in East Palo Alto. My mom arrived a few months after getting caught by immigration. My family was happy when we reunited with mom. Mom and Dad ended up having more children once we were settled in. My family and I now have papers and are legal in the USA and we visit our family in El Salvador

Today my life is more different than when I was a child. I no longer have to worry about the gunshots and food on my table, or safety due to war around my house. I am happy  I was able to accomplish the American dream, was able to complete my college education, have a family and have a stable job. I also have a home in East Palo Alto that gives me the warmth and safety I need for peace of mind. Unfortunately looking back there is nothing that I miss from my  hometown. My life has fully  adjusted to the American lifestyle.


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