Let’s talk about family: Hispanic Heritage, Astrid

My parent’s struggles, sacrifices and hopes have molded me into the person I am today.

My parents were both born and raised in Michoacán, Mexico where they lived a very simple and humble childhood.

Their respective families provided them with a roof over their heads and enough food on the table.

The Mexican educational system is very different from the American education system.

Education in Mexico is very different from the one here in the United States.

My grandparents had to pay for their children to go to school.

Books, tuition and uniforms had to be provided by the families the only thing the school would provide was the building and the teacher.

My parents received a basic education but they had to stop attending classes around the age of 16.

Since school was no longer an option, my dad had no choice but to go to work.

Employment was not an easy to come by in Mexico and it’s still difficult to find a decent paying job there.

So when he turned 20 years old my father decided to try to work in the United States.

Making the decision to leave behind everything and everyone he had ever known in search of work to live a better life was not easy.

My father immigrated to a country he had never set foot in and where had had no connections.

Eventually he landed in the city of El Monte, CA and managed to find jobs here and there.

He got a stable job working with furniture learning to design, sew and upholster couches.

Over time, more of his friends and family, including my mom, also made their way north in search of new opportunities.

Then in 1986, President Ronald Regan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, this law, gave legal status to certain undocumented immigrants who had entered the United States before Jan 1, 1982.

My father applied for legal status under this new law but was unsuccessful because his previous employers were able to prove he was in the country before 1982.

Meanwhile, many of his friends and family from back home were successful.

As legal residents they were able to find better paying jobs.

To this day, both my mom and dad have worked to obtain legal status in this country.

Even though they have struggled to obtain legal status in this country, they have been able to achieve everything any ordinary American can do and more.

They have become homeowners, raised college educated children and are living the American Dream.

My parent’s struggles, courage and determination have made me who I am today.

I am determined to become the best possible person I can be because of them.

I will succeed in college and everything I do so their sacrifices will not go unnoticed.

My parents were able to succeed on their own in a country, which so often looks down upon them.

There is no excuse for us, children of undocumented immigrants, not to succeed and make our parents proud and especially the world.