Mi Gente Linda
I believe that America needs more humanity and less discrimination. I believe that mi gente is beautiful and honest. I believe that mi gente shouldn't be separated at the border when running away from death in their countries. I believe that me being Latina doesn’t giving you the right to discriminate me.
Back in the ‘90s my tio was a coyote. He would help families running away from their country jump the border to live the American Dream. Obviously it was way easier back then -- the migra wasn’t as active as today. He would hide them in one of my grandma's houses. She would help out by making them food knowing that they’d be starving. She didn't like what my tio did. She was always afraid that he’d get caught one day. But I see him as one of my people’s hero, giving them the opportunity back in the day, so that they could give their familia a better living and not end up dead in one of the corners of their colonia. I bet that most of these families now have either received their residency or are being deported right now. It’s a triste life out here. My tio who would bring these people in, worked his whole life to make a living in this country and is now being kicked out like an old dog thrown out into la calle. I would like to be like him but help through speaking out for my gente. I believe in my gente that have their sweat, blood, and tears drowning the streets of America just to give their kids at least frijoles con tortillas. I believe that it’s unfair to deport parents knowing that their kids can't depend on anyone but them.
In 1991, my mom came to Los Angeles, California with a tourist visa. She was born in El D.F., Mexico but raised in Tijuana, Baja California. She was in and out of this country, would cross with her brother at 15 just to go to a school in San Diego. From there my grandma decided to take them to L.A. where she attended Belmont High School with her brother. Sadly, my mom didn’t like going to school. She prefered helping my grandma in the sewing factories of Downtown L.A. She always said that in her position she saw the money more beneficial than education. I know she regrets having that mindset back in the day because nowadays all that comes out from her mouth is, “Estudia mucho, no quiero que te mates la vida como yo no mas por 60 dolares al dia.” She pays for everything at home: the phone bills, the gas and water, along with the rent. So when Trump said those disgusting things about my people, my blood boiled. My mom doesn't work her life and soul out for this man to come around and say that her and along with all these hard working people are stealing jobs, that they are rapist, bringing drugs to this country, etc. I’m sick of my people being discriminated against. I’m sick of these ignorant white folks following what this cheeto man says. My people don’t deserve this. So, I’m going to say it loud and clear: I believe that mi gente is beautiful and honest, that we don’t steal the jobs that you white ignorant folks won’t even want to do, that we don't come and rape your people, and that we don’t bring drugs to this country. We just want to earn some bread for our families and live this stupid American Dream that we once believed in.
I believe in the people that believe in my gente, that march for my gente, that speak out for my gente, the ones who help them strive and be great despite how bad my country is at the moment -- despite how much racism, prejudice, and injustice there is in my country. I believe in those who agree that it is inhumane to separate families into different border facilities; that it is inhumane to cage our children like if they are dangerous animals at the zoos. We are humans. We deserve to be treated as such. And I wonder if your heart breaks at the sight of our children being locked up and being emotionally and physically abused the same way you see a video of a dog being treated so? This country has turned sick and dark but, I believe in those who bring light to this America we are living in. I believe in the people that bring light to the situations that my country prefers to have hidden and buried 5 feet under. I believe in praying for our children in the border facilities. I believe in praying for America.
I have never stayed quiet so I won't stay quiet now. Therefore I speak for my gente because I believe that America needs more humanity and less discrimination. I believe that mi gente is beautiful and honest. I believe that mi gente shouldn't be separated in the border when running away from death in their countries. I believe that me being Latina doesn’t giving you the right to discriminate against me. Yo soy latina y lo digo con orgullo.
I Believe in Positivity
I believe a positive attitude will lead to a positive life. I believe the mind is a very powerful thing, but most of all, I believe obstacles will only help you build your character.
Going back a couple years, when I was only 7, my dad had an appointment with his optometrist. After that afternoon, nothing would ever be the same. I had just received news that my dad had gone blind and my mother had to quit her job. Surgery after surgery, the results were only worse. I’d watch them struggle every single day until their struggles became my own. Soon after, I fell into a deep depression and I was forced to raise myself, take care of myself, and grow up faster than any of my friends. No one could nor would understand me, and at a certain point I was simply okay with that. I realized in this life, in the end, you are left with only yourself, and I had already been trained for that. I had to cook, clean, and take care of my father in several occasions whilst my mom ran errands. I also had become responsible for the dog we owned and had to take her for a walk every morning and feed the four birds before school along with having to cook breakfast for my dad and reminding him to take his medicine. My day didn't end there though. I also had to come home after school, do my chores, complete my homework, and then once again cook dinner, and clean up.
It was a cold winter day in sixth grade. I was inside the classroom being almost the only Latina girl in there. Everyone else surrounding me was either Asian or Caucasian. It was the kind of school in which the privileged and wealthy students and families were prioritized. It had only been my first month there and I was already feeling the pressure and competition in the atmosphere. This was most definitely not the type of school I wanted to attend. In the pamphlets and pictures it seemed as if it was the best school to be in. The walls so white I’d get headaches because of how bright the sun reflected upon them before lunch time. It was the day after I had gotten my first anxiety attack. I honestly felt like I was going to die. I heavily feared for my life if I ever got another. All I was able to feel was fear. I’d think about it so much it’d consume me and those thoughts got to me. At this point, I’d have an attack once or even twice a day. That’s when I knew it’d become a problem for nearly the rest of my life but, I kept my head up. There were way too many problems going on in my life and I couldn’t let this add onto my parents’ struggles. I just couldn’t.
After my father's unfortunate diagnosis, my sisters ran away from home. Now it was my job to care for not only myself but my parents at only 10 years old. I’d see my parents suffer every day: crying, scared, wondering where my sisters had been. They had the same devastating question roam their heads every five minutes, "Where did they go wrong?" My sisters were selfish. They had left me with all this damage, alone, in a broken home. We lived with not only all the pain but also, the fear. For so long, all of this caused a huge ball of hatred within me. I hated my sisters. I hated that all of that had happened to ME. Out of anyone, life chose to throw this curveball at me, knowing I had the lowest batting average in the dugout that is strength. I started missing school, not doing my work, and eventually messing up my future.
I feel as if all of these events put together have actually helped me now. I am independent, responsible, and resilient. I matured a lot faster than most of my friends and peers which is why I now struggle to relate to my peers. Yet, as mentioned in the beginning, in the end I realized you can only depend on yourself. I am prepared for facing these challenges alone. At first, I had blamed life for being unfair but, now I realize everything had only made me stronger, and I am so thankful for being strong not only emotionally but mentally. I am strong for my parents and I will forever remain strong for them. Pain, hurt, and changes will always be there but how you react to them is up to you. How will you react to yours? This I Believe.