“I BECAME A ROCKER”
BY JOSUE FLORES // CONTRIBUTING WRITER
I lived in El Salvador. But I wanted to go to the US. I wanted an opportunity in a different country. In El Salvador, the gangsters began to kill people and took control. If you were a teen like me, they asked you to enter the gangster group and if you said no, they would kill you. When I came to the US, I missed my best friends but I also felt happy to learn another language. I began listening to heavy metal music. I became a rocker. In El Salvador, if they heard me listening to heavy metal, they’d think I was Satanic. But here, this helped me so much, how they expose their emotions: Don’t give up. You are not alone.
"‘NEVER FORGET WHERE YOU COME FROM’"
BY ELIAN GONZALEZ // CONTRIBUTING WRITER
When I lived in the Dominican Republic, my life was happy but my family was poor. When storms destroyed parts of our house, we did not have money to fix it. My mother had gone to the United States to earn money for the family when I was two years old. I lived with my uncles. They were old but had to work to keep me in school, which is expensive in DR. My mother was able to send about $30 every month for my food, clothes, and other expenses. Then, one day when I was playing video games, my phone rang. “Hello, who’s this?” I asked. It was
my mother. “You are going to Boston,” she said. I stayed quiet for three minutes. “Really, mom, that is great!” I said after my surprise had worn off. Three months later, in November of 2014, we prepared for our move to the US. When we arrived in Boston, the officers asked questions in English but I could not understand what they were saying. “Why did I come here?” I later asked my mother. “Because you have more opportunities here than in the Dominican Republic,” she said. Now, when I think about it, I see that she was right. I can speak English and communicate with my teachers, my new friends, and my relatives in the US. After high school, I want to go to MIT and study engineering. I feel happy but I still sometimes miss DR. I believe in the saying, “Never forget where you come from."
“NOW, ALL IS VERY DIFFERENT HERE”
BY HEIDI HIDALGO // CONTRIBUTING WRITER
In Ecuador, I went to high school every day because I was a good student and had many friends. When I had homework on the Internet, I had to find a cyber business because we did not have it. Then I came to the United States, in 2014. Now, all is very different here. English is very difficult for me, but I am learning. I miss Ecuador. It’s my country. Maybe there is more opportunity here for my life, my future. I want to be a psychologist. People who have problems need a person who listens to them.
“I CAME TO THE UNITED STATES FOR MORE OPPORTUNITY”
BY MELISSA GONZALEZ // CONTRIBUTING WRITER
I lived a very happy life in the Dominican Republic. I got good grades in school. I went to the beach with my friends and family to have fun. In 2014, I came to the United States for more opportunity. My life changed completely. People talked in English and I only understood a little. I missed my friends in DR. I wanted to go back but my mother told me that I have to get used to it here. Now, I love this country. I am learning the language. I have resources: more food, a better economy. I go to parties and the movies. Someday, I want to be a pediatrician.
“I WANT TO BE A GOOD PERSON”
BY MARCOS TAVERAS // CONTRIBUTING WRITER
I’ve always thought about my future. When I was a baby, I wanted be an astronaut because I saw in the cool “Star Wars” movies that they are like heroes and have many adventures. I thought that going into space would be so good because I could take a selfie, put it on a website, and become a famous person for this. With all the money I was going to win, I was going to buy a big house, a Lamborghini, and maintain my family. Then, I didn’t want to be an astronaut anymore. I wanted to be an FBI SWAT because this has a lot of action. The problem is that you can die really quick. I also considered becoming a professional chef. I like to cook and people would say good things about me. Maybe I will pass high school, go to college, and become a computer engineer. I want to be a good person and teach my family how hard it is to be successful.
“I HAVE MANY GOALS IN THIS NEW LIFE”
BY PAOLA ORTIZ // CONTRIBUTING WRITER
When I lived in Guatemala, I always studied because my goal was to go to the university and be a professional person. Part of me wanted to be a teacher; in my
class, I saw how they helped others understand things so they could become something in their lives. I also wanted to be a nurse because they help people, too. My life changed when my parents told me that I had to come to the United States to have a better life. I was 15 years old when I came here. My first day of school, I
was so confused because I didn’t understand when someone wanted to talk with me in English. Now I understand English and I know how to write and read. I enjoy my life in this country. I have new friends and I have good grades. I have many goals in this new life because now I have more opportunities. I can be a nurse or a teacher in this country because I know Spanish and English.