58 letters on the American Dream from San Marcos University students, San Diego, California, USA
letter 31: Minerva


Mr. Gutierrez gets back home after another long day at work. He sits at the table with the same usual tired face that he cannot help to bring home everyday around 9 o’ clock at night. He looks down into the empty plate that sits in front of him and then up to Mrs. Gutierrez eyes, she looks back at him and gives him a hopeful smile, a smile that says ‘I’m sorry dear, don’t worry someday everything will be better.’ He smiles back, gets up, gives baby Alejandrito a kiss on the forehead as he lies asleep on the old couch, and walks to their bedroom. As he is falling asleep he suddenly thinks ‘what if I do it? What if I try immigrating into the U.S.?’

5 years have gone by since that night Mr. Gutierrez really thought about moving into the U.S.

Mr. Gutierrez gets back home after another great day at his new job. He sits at the table with a great smile on his face. He looks down at the bright blue place mat Mrs. Gutierrez just got this morning after dropping Alejandrito in school. A juicy filet is almost ready to be served on his plate. Mrs. Gutierrez gives him a kiss on the cheek as she says ‘thank you so much for doing this for us.’ Alejandrito joins them and they all say grace before eating dinner. Mr. Gutierrez asks Alejandrito how was his day at school and Alejandrito says ‘Papi everyday my English gets better.’ All three of them are still holding hands. Mrs. Gutierrez gets up and gives them both a hug.


 I guess if I had to choose whether I like living in southern California or not I would say I sometimes do. I used to live in Tijuana, Mexico, a city across the boarder. I used to live in the nice area of this city, because it has a lot of people trying to get into the U.S., but it also has habitants that have spent their whole lives there because they’ve chosen to. I was born in the U.S. because my mom chose to give birth here because of all the great opportunities you get for being a U.S. citizen. She was emigrated by my grandfather, he married my Mexican grandmother and emigrated them both. My mom went to school here most of her life and never really loved it, she has never told me why. Since I was little I wanted to do my major here in the U.S., again because of the great opportunities they offer you here. On my first job ever I was earning more then my mom’s employees in Mexico because that is what the law demands in the different countries. I like living here in the sense that it is cleaner, nicer, safer, but I will never experience the same traditions they have in Mexico. Because I lived right across the border some of our culture is a mixture between the American and the Mexican culture, sometimes sellers in Mexico in the streets would try to approach me speaking English. I am now living in southern California because I’m studying in Cal State San Marcos and I know its for the best, so have to like it, I do like it in fact, but again it would never be the same as living in my Mexico. I have never really felt racial discrimination, I do look Mexican, but not as Mexican as many other people, and I kind of don’t really have an accent, I do but not as notable as many other Mexicans. And to tell you the truth, I have never been around racial discrimination against Mexicans because I really would have done something about it, even if they are people who work in the fields, they are people just like every human being.

letter 31, Minerva, continued


 The picture shows nothing but reality, whether some people like ir or not. Immigration into the U.S. is a big thing. I do not know the exact number, but a big percentage of people living in America are from somewhere else, and that is without counting the illegal immigrants that come here. A lot of people want to come live here because of the great opportunities being offered, some do not have the documents required to come legally so they try to do it illegally. Some make it some do not. Some people try to do it knowing that in the process they could lose their lives, this is how much they want it, some people have the courage to risk their lives in order to offer a better future to their families. As the author shows, people try getting into the U.S. by every means, some through the water, some jumping over the barrier the U.S. authorities put, and many other ways. It has been in the news that some have managed to build tunnels underneath ground. They really set their minds to their objectives and they do everything they can do to accomplish their dreams. Everyone wants to succeed, and some people feel like the only way they can do it is by coming into the U.S., they have abilities that some people here do not really have, and they get jobs that pay them so much more here in the U.S. then what they would earn in their countries of origin. So they have in mind the thought “all or nothing” because they can really lose their lives in the process.