My name is Lidia, (name changed) Mother of Leo. I am 45 years old but soon this year I will turn 46. My son asked me to do an interview for his homework because I am close to him and easy to talk to. First of all, I am an Immigrant from Mexico born and raised. I was born in Gomez Palacio, Durango. However, now I live in California with the family and the life I found here. I work as a nanny taking care of little kids. I like it a lot. I also enjoy plants, I have my own garden where I grow tomatoes but I mostly like the succulents. I have many plants that I keep outside and maintain. Another thing that I enjoy is seeing the natural beauty of places and traveling.
Before coming to America I had a life in Mexico. It was very difficult. I had very little money. I was in school until I was 18 years old. School in Mexico is a little different than school in the US. Primary(Elementary) school is 6 years, and Secondary(Middle) school is 3 years and Preparatory (High) school is 4 or 2 years. If you want a Technical Career you are able to do 4 years but if you want to get into a university you can do 2 years and then go into a University. However, I did 2 years in Preparatory and then I went to a university but I wasn’t able to continue because my Dad didn’t help me anymore and my tia didn’t have money to help because she lived in the ranch so that meant I had to move to the city of Juarez because there was no means of supporting the family. And from there I started to work at the age of 18.
Since I was little I always wanted to travel but I never had the opportunity to do so. And then at age 20 my cousin invited me to go to Denver, Colorado to go see his daughter and I said yes. We left in a car all the way, since my cousin invited me I didn’t pay anything. But first I had to get a Visa to be a tourist for a couple of weeks and that’s how I left Mexico.
And then, When I was in Denver I didn’t really do much. It was mainly my family so I just lived with them. I was in Denver for about 2 months. From there my cousin asked if I wanted to come to California to visit his Sister in law and I said yes. I spent 3 days in the car on our trip. At the time I was about 21 or 22, I can’t really remember but it was a long trip, I didn’t really enjoy being in the car too much. When I got here though, I loved it, I loved the sea, the trees, all the natural beauty of this place. So since my Tia, who was basically my Mom, knew my cousin’s sister in law I asked her to let me stay and she did. One of the reasons why I did stay was because I had more opportunities to do better. And that’s how I stayed here in California. After that I was an Illegal because my Visa expired. I wasn’t able to go to Mexico anymore because if I left I wouldn’t be able to return.
It was never my goal but as a kid I always wanted to travel and I was presented with the opportunity and I just liked it better over here and I believed I could have a better life here. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t have any obstacles when I first got started here. The language barrier was probably the hardest thing at first, I also faced discrimination for not knowing the language. And of course it was hard to find jobs when you don’t speak the language. However, I did land a job at Burger King. I was living on the Peninsula at the time with my Cousin’s sister in law because she didn’t charge rent and so I had to take two buses to work and it was expensive because I didn’t have a lot of money. They paid me very little.
Then I found another job taking care of kids, and it was one of the jobs where you lived in. So I would stay with them from Monday to Friday. I didn’t like it but I enjoyed taking care of kids. Then I got married so I wasn’t able to live with them anymore, I lived with my husband. After that I got another job taking care of old people but I also didn’t like that job because it was sad almost all the time. I only worked there for 2 years. After that my sister in law recommended me to a woman by the name of Kisa and that’s how I got started as a nanny taking care of children. And that’s what I do to this day.
Today, present day I believe it is better in America but it is also hard without a legal residency here in the United States. I cannot see my family, it’s been around 20 years since I have immigrated. And I have done many things in those 20 years. I have gotten married, I have 2 kids, and I now speak English. I am very proud of that. I also learned how to drive. I am also more confident of myself and what I can accomplish on my own as an individual. If I had not immigrated I think my life would be so much different to what it is now. It would be boring, wishing and dreaming that I could travel. Since I stopped studying I would be trying to get by everyday and it would be hard for me.
The interview and write-up was done by her son, Leonardo, a student.