My grandma Josephina (name changed) is from Michoacan, Mexico. She was born in 1964. She finished elementary school, and then she started working. She got married when she was 17, but her husband was abusive and she divorced him. She married my grandfather and they had four children. She came to California because she wanted a better life for her children. Another reason that she came to the USA about thirty years ago was that there was a lot of violence and crime in Michoacan. She saw dead people who were killed by gangs lying on the streets.
She left Mexico with her husband and her four children. The journey from Michoacan to the border lasted two days, then they walked across the desert for 14 difficult days. They saw people who were sick or dying while they walked, so even though it was hard, they felt lucky.
My grandmother crossed the border illegally with her children because she didn’t have any other options. She said that because of that she she felt worried about her safety in the United States and she still does. Not long after her arrival in the US, she separated from her husband. She came to California because she had brothers here. Her first work in the U.S.A was cleaning houses and apartments. When she started to pay the bills it was so hard for her because she was alone with her children. Now her children speak English and they have good jobs and children of their own. My grandma still cleans houses but she wants to live in Tijuana, Mexico and she wants to have a restaurant and live happily forever.
This story was written by a grandchild of Josephina who attends high school in the SF Bay Area.