From Arteaga Michoacan: New Life in Redwood City

Creative Commons photo by Kevin Brown

Creative Commons photo by Kevin Brown

My name is Esther. It was twenty years ago when I was living in Arteaga Michoacan. I was living in a small ranch with my mother, my husband, and my two little kids. It was small, and had a small creek on the side. The smell of avocados came from the several big avocado trees. I see my two children playing with twins and the dirt near the cows and the dog running around looking for deer.

I moved to America because I wanted a better education for my children because in Mexico I could only go to school through second grade.

Life for me in Arteaga Michoacan was wonderful. I miss those old days when I used to play with my sister in law and go to my grandmother’s house to play with dolls, and play on the swing.

When I decided to leave I was going to cross the border with my two children and my husband but a random man said he could take us in his car. We packed some clothes not very much, then we left at night. I remember me looking back at our ranch and remembering all those fun and happy times we had there. When we got out of the car we were at a hazelnut farm. We stayed there for three days straight without eating. I had bread that I bought along the way. I didn’t eat it so I could give it to my children. After those three days the man came back for us and then we got our belongings and put them in the trunk. When we got in the car he had some lunch for us, we thanked him then we ate it.

When we finally arrived to California there was a lot of big buildings and the streets were cleaner than the ones in Mexico. We drove all the way to Redwood City because my husband already had family members there. We lived in my sister-in-law’s house for a few months while my husband looked for a job . When he finally found a job and we saved up money, we moved out and moved to an apartment in Redwood City.

Now it’s 2015 and I have six children and thirteen grandchildren. My husband passed away in 2012 so it’s just me and my older son and my younger daughter because all of my other children have their wonderful families.

This interview was conducted by the daughter, Jasmine, a 9th grader in Redwood City.

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