58 letters on the American Dream from San Marcos University students, San Diego, California, USA
letter 47:Janet Barajas

The American Dream varies depending on who you talk to. To some it might mean being able to afford food and shelter, for others giving a better future to their kids, and to some something extravagant such as becoming a multi millionaire. I conclude from all these examples that The American Dream is being able to shape your life the way you want it.

 My grandparents came to the U. S. as braceros, farm workers, one of them went back to Mexico the other remained in the U.S. and sent money back to Mexico to my grandma and her nine kids. They lived in cardboard boxes and had nothing but a tin roof to protect them from the elements. My mother as a teenager being the eldest was forced to help my grandma out with working to provide for the family and at the same time attend school. She was a Red Cross first aid paramedic volunteer in Mexico. She soon got tired of all the hard work that led her nowhere and decided to come to the U. S. with my dad. She was forced to leave all her belongings in Mexico when crossing the border and literally came to the U.S. with nothing but the clothes on her back. My parents began by settling in Escondido, California renting a walk in closet. My mother began by working in a Tortilleria and my dad as a roofer. However when my parents had me my mom was forced to quit her job due to the numerous doctors’ appointments and surgeries I had to attend because of my legal blindness. My parents struggled financially and at a point were forced to get help from the government in order to get by. However my mother refused to keep relying on the government and somehow managed to juggle a job, my doctor’s appointments, and began going to Palomar College. When my mother finished her Medical Assistant training she attained a job at a clinic and was able to receive a steady income. Today my parents own their own home and their own cars and have well paying jobs. My mother is a Lead Medical assistant in the pediatrics department of a clinic and my father is a Truck driver.

 To my parents The American Dream was giving my sisters and me a better future and better Medical treatments. They sacrificed their dream of some day returning to Mexico for us.