English transcription of video:

Hi my name is Paola Perez. I come from the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. Prior to coming here, I lived in Oaxaca City for 5 years with my husband. The reason I made to decision to come to this country was because we had housing needs. We lived in a very small room and we had a son. Our dream has always been to have our own house to give our son an adequate home. That was the reason why we came to this country. When I arrived in this country, I came to live with some family members. I started working in the first thing that I found.

That was my idea, to come to work and earn money, buy some land, build a house, and return to Mexico. The job that I found was cleaning houses. I got paid $6 an hour. We worked one year, two years… The year after arriving here I missed my son a lot, because I had left him with my mom. So we decided …. to bring our son, because we missed him a lot. So when my son arrived here it was very difficult for him, because he was used to a very different life, but with time he adapted.

Our plans were to come only for 3 years. But then our son became accustomed, and we saw that it was worth staying for longer. So he could study at least until middle school, learn English, and then go back. So that’s how we kept staying. First we said 3 years, then when he finishes elementary, then middle school, and I’m still here. Now we have three more children. I have 4 children, and we’re still here for them, because we want them to have a good education; one that we couldn’t have. My husband is a day worker. Thank God he somewhat works, but he doesn’t have a great income, but we are together and that’s what has helped us move forward.

When I first came here, I arrived in Mountain View, and it was there that I started working cleaning houses. I worked for 3 years.  Afterwards, I decided that it wasn’t for me. The work was too difficult, and the money was too little. I decided to take some classes at DeAnza College about child development. After I took those units, I got a better job as a nanny, and a better income of course.

I try to get involved a lot with the community. I want to keep helping the community, and fighting for some rights that I think we deserve. We are human beings. We want to be good citizens. We want our children to be good citizens, and learn every day so we can be better each day.

Q: You mom is still alive?

Yes, my mom is alive, and that’s why I wish with all my heart that we can have just reform so that I can go back one day and visit my mother.

Q: How long has it been since you’ve seen her?

10 years ago.


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