58 letters on the American Dream from San Marcos University students, San Diego, California, USA
letter 34: Norma Garcia

Norma Garcia

 I am first generation Mexican –American here in the U.S., my parents were born in the state of Jalisco, México. My parents came to the U.S. in 1985 when my oldest sister was born because they thought the best chances of success would be possible in America. Their motivation was leaving the corrupted town they grew up in but their biggest concern was that me and my sisters could get a good education and become successful. They had heard about how much opportunity there was here in the U.S. through other families of the town that had left to find a new life and decided that they should leave too. My parents came and they lived in Arizona for about eight years but my mother hated the dry weather and they decided that southern California would be the best choice for them.

 Growing up in southern California has been quite an experience, especially right now because there are a lot of issues that directly target and affect those of us with Hispanic backgrounds. Racial prejudice has always been existent within every culture but in SoCal because the population is so diverse and the largest minority here in San Diego is Hispanic, people are generally respectful with one and other. I have been judged based on the way I look because I am noticeably Mexican, but never by any other minority. The prejudice is more subtle though, I have gotten condescending looks in certain areas of San Diego but I have never been denied of a service or publicly scrutinized by a group of people. When you are in the wrong place here in San Diego you know it because you can feel the tension between yourself and the people around you. For the most part I have really enjoyed living here in SoCal especially for the most obvious reason of our weather and because people here are fast paced and l like being busy and having a lot to do.

 The drawing could not have captured a more realistic immigrant perspective of America because as the immigrants are walking towards the flag they really do look up to the country and see a light, they see opportunity and success. Immigrants coming from all over México, South America leave their own roots and culture to try and adapt to the culture of America, they literally look like those in the picture carrying nothing but what is necessary to survive and all they have to offer are themselves and hard work.