Being a child of immigrant parents is not easy. You are constantly living in the fear that one day you’ll wake up and you parents won’t be there with you anymore. Specially now that we have a new president, things are getting more challenging. But don’t get me wrong, I live a happy life. I am proud to call myself a Latina.
Being a Cuban immigrant has provided me with a unique bicultural perspective that has become my support system in the United States. For the first eleven years of my life, my culture was composed of music and dancing. In every street corner of my hometown, there was a group of seniors playing domino and close by, their grandchildren dancing to the Salsa music being played on the radio to pass the time. The hardships created by the communist regime are overshadowed by memories of my mother teaching me how to sew and by my paternal grandmother teaching me how to enjoy a strong Cuban coffee. Those precious memories of home became a source of pain when I migrated to the United States.
I come from an authentic Hispanic family, who is traditional in plenty distinct aspects. We treasure all the memories that have occurred to all of us and we laugh about the embarrassing moments we all had. We hold traditional customs and we accept new traditions as well. All of us are over protective of each and every family member, meaning that if anyone in the family has a problem we will not stop until it is fixed. To every family member, family is always first.
Being the first generation Asian-Hispanic American, I recognize the importance of being the first in my family in gaining an education. Throughout my youth, I seen my parents work in difficult jobs just to keep food on the table. Especially my mother was an immigrant, arriving to this country at age 16 and her highest education is just a middle school diploma. She struggles in finding jobs due to lack of education, thus she works in jobs that nobody wants such as factories, fields and even traveling across the country as a migrant worker. She would accept any job, no matter how hard it is and how low they pay because she only wants the best for me.
As a member of a working class community, my life has been a struggle between resources and opportunities available for me. Having sparse resources has lead me to the constant push of working towards the things I’ve achieved. Social identities have become a guidance for my future goals and abilities. Being working class Latina, raised in a Catholic family has created many barriers and pathways into the future I wish to hold. Furthermore, taking all the social identities I have grew into have become the bases for my educational goals and identity.
I was born on February 14, 1993 in the city of La Vega, Dominican Republic and came to New York at the age of 10. The fact that my first language is Spanish placed me at a disadvantage from the minute I stepped a foot in the United States since even at the airport I was not able to communicate with the agent. My biggest struggle was school. I had a bilingual teacher, but the class was taught in English only and most of my classmates only spoke English.
I 'm currently a college student looking to pursue the American dream. My parents are both from the Dominican Republic and in search of a better life, they moved to the Bronx, New York. Both working modest jobs to keep me in college to acquire a degree an opportunity they were not given. From working as cashiers at Taco Bell to being janitors. They saved enough money to leave our one-bedroom apartment in New York and move my sister and I to Indiana because it was affordable.
My father and mother, being immigrants, have had a significant contribution to shaping my goals, perspectives, and ideals. Based on their experiences in America, I have developed more traits that I am proud to acknowledge, For instance, I have become a more ambitious and resilient person, which contributes to all of the work that I handle. I believe this was stemmed from watching my father come home from 12-hour shifts at an exhausting job each day. He was come a long way from when he first arrived in this country, working multiple minuscule jobs. He was able to make growth from this and start up a small business where he works tremendously to provide for our family.
Q: Why did you decide to come to this country? A: I came to the US to accompany my husband that was, at the time, seeking to improve his career by obtaining a master's degree in an Ivy League school. Q: Did you also consider moving somewhere else?
Life changing event In life, everybody has that one moment that changes their whole world upside down. For my family and I, moving to America on 24th March of 2015 from my motherland India was that moment. I never in 17 years of my life left my small town in Gujarat, India. Now suddenly, we got the visa and my family was too excited about the big move.