58 letters on the American Dream from San Marcos University students, San Diego, California, USA
letter 29: Maria

My parents were born in Mexico, as well as I did. My father started to immigrate to the United States before I was born. I would always here my mother saying, “Tu papa ya va a regresar del otro lado!” which means that my father would soon be home from “the other side”, as many of us would refer to the U.S. My father came to this country to give us a better life, what our country offered him was not enough to sustain a family of ten. When I was eleven years old, my father decided to bring my mother and my sister to the U.S. They left me living in Mexico with my grandparents. It was very hard for me because I was young and I needed my mother by my side.  A year later my father returned to Mexico, this time he would bring me to the California to reunite with the whole family. I was very excited to know that I would see my family again. But at the same time I was very sad to know that I would leave my friends, my grandparents whom I loved as if they were my real parents, and I would leave my homeland behind. At that time I did not have a specific dream that I wanted to accomplish by coming to this country. The only thing I knew was that I was going to be with my family again. I have to admit that I like living in California, I don’t believe I would be able to accommodate to living in Mexico again. I love my Mexico, it is a beautiful country, but now I am used to living in the city and I have assimilated to this culture.  I have seen lots of cases where discrimination is involved, but never been part of one. I have clear skin; therefore discrimination does not target me as much as it does to other Mexicans whose skin is dark. It bothers me to hear about Americans, conservative for the most part, who see my people as a threat to the country. Not all of us are the same, and we should not take the blame for everyone. The first thing my parents did when I came to this country was enroll me in school as soon as possible. My family has done everything in their hands to accomplish the American dream. My family and I believe that we can better ourselves by working hard; we can accomplish many things by having one opportunity. An opportunity that the United States offers to every immigrant in the nation.  When I came to this country I did not know what I wanted my life to look like in my future. Now I know that I want to make my family proud of me. I want them to see me as an example of what immigrants should do when they come to this country. The six years that I have been living in the U.S have encouraged me to keep my head up, and keep trying. I love my country, but unfortunately it does not offer me what I need. The United States has come to be part of who I am, going back to Mexico is not an option for me. If I leave this country, I would have lost everything; my life would have no future.  The photograph “ladream”, has a very powerful meaning to all immigrants. People from different parts of the world are entering the U.S. They come seeking a new beginning, as the picture demonstrates by having the sun in the middle of the flag. Immigrants want to have religious freedom; they want to have a better live. This people seem to see hope by coming to this country, but at the same time they are turning their heads to see what they are leaving behind. They seem to be hard working people and all they want is an opportunity for their family.