Mexican-American

The Dream

We also want the American dream 

It's hard to ignore everything going on around me. My parents migrated here for the American dream, I was born and raised here but let's start from the beginning? My mother was born in Jalisco, Mexico with very little to call her own. She lived up in the mountains in a cement home. There was two different parts to the house, the rooms and then a water trench next to the so-called kitchen, no bathroom, no running water, no electricity and not much money. When the water trench was low, my grandmother would go down the hill to the stream down below, fill up the bucket with water, and then back up the hill to put the water in the trench. My mother always told me there wasn't much to live for where she was born. As she grew up she longed for a better life. 

At the age of 17, she was brought here by a coyote, smuggled in just like all the immigrants. She started working right away and started taking English classes. She had my older brother and then me at 26 years old. I was four when she became a citizen of the United States, that same year her father passed away in Mexico. Mixed with emotions she kept on working hard for the American dream because all she wanted for her kids was to have the American dream not to just see it in the distance. She now speaks fluent English, works hard at her job, never received any help from the government. Growing up being Hispanic was a little frightening because you never knew who was going to be deported next. I always lived with my head down because I thought, what is it that would stop anyone from deporting me? I didn't realize back then that I was a citizen so no matter what I always walked with the unknown. 

I am now 23 years old with a daughter of my own. At first she hated speaking Spanish and said I don't want to be Mexican. My heart dropped. I immediately asked her why and well she said, I don't know. What was I suppose to do, say good job? Because all this hate and racism was slowly coming out again? Or explain to her what our culture is? Once again I was putting my head down thinking, Have I failed my ancestors? I gave it a little time, started talking to her in Spanish more, showing her what our culture was, but then I was forgetting we are two cultures, not just one or the other. We are Chicanas, Mexican-American and proud this little girl of mine supports all people, all types of love because little by little, she is growing and says color doesn't matter and love is love! I am now standing tall, proud because my daughter has taught me the most valuable lesson in life. Be patient, be kind and don't be afraid to achieve your dreams. My American Dream is no longer a dream it's my life...but will it get taken from us? Will we have to go back to where our ancestors are from? 

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Mexican-American