58 letters on the American Dream from San Marcos University students, San Diego, California, USA
letter 11: Carli

The reason for my grandparents, on my father’s side, immigration to California were possible the same as many of the Mexican immigrants’. The moved to Santa Monica, California in the mid 1950s and started a family from there. A reason for them moving from Jalisco, Mexico was because my grandfather, being a very ambitious man, wanted to develop his own gardening company. In Mexico, he has said before, there weren’t many opportunities to feel free to do whatever your heart desired. Work was always about the family. You had to work hard enough to be able to support your own family so that once you were stable enough to live on your own, you could start a family, or help take care of your parents’ well-being.

Along with starting his own career he wanted to start his family in a different country, around new people and places, as well as different cultural beliefs. He met my grandmother after a cousin of hers “hooked them up,” meaning they were introduced by her cousin, who was a friend of his also.

Schooling in California was furthermore pressed upon children to gain a proper education, which is another reason why my grandparents were so adamant about living here. They wanted their children to have more freedom and knowledge, than what they were given, to do what they wanted and as they pleased, within reason, with their lives.