I was born in North Carolina as an American citizen. I am very proud of this fact but I only spent my first 11 months of life in this place of my birth because my mother decided to send me to her family homeland in El Salvador. There were some troubles in my family and so my Mama Elba; who is my young Latina grandmother welcomed me with open arms. My grandmother had just lost a baby and when I got there she did not want me to leave because she felt good by having me with her. To some it may seem strange to have an aunt only a few years older who dies at age 6 of illness but to others who are familiar with life and families in Latin America it is understandable.
After 4 years learning to walk and talk in El Salvador, my mother decided that I should enter school in the United states. My mother went to El Salvador so she could bring me back so I could start kindergarten in North Carolina. I did return to North Carolina but some things I don’t really remember. I remember some friends, the school, but not much else. I used to cry so much for my grandmother who became like a mother to me. I just went to school there until 2nd Grade. I went back to El Salvador in 3rd Grade.
When I was growing up in El Salvador I noticed that everything was so different. The economics, politics, religions and geography of this place seem so different from the American suburbs of the USA. I noticed, because I was traveling back and forth at a young age that my languages became mixed. I was going back and forth for 3 or 4 years at a time. It was hard to finish what I started at school because I was traveling so often. My mom wanted me in school in the United states but I missed my grandma terribly and became sad so I would return to El Salvador. When I was at school in North Carolina it seemed that the students in El Salvador were on vacation because they had long holidays in December and January. The school year there begins and ends at different times. The begin their school year at the end of January and they end their school year at the beginning of November.
This video above brings a lot of memories from my childhood because it shows how simple my life was in El Salvador when I was living there. Nombre de Jesus is one of the safest places in El salvador because there are no gangs and because it is a small village of people who know each other pretty well. People are really hard working. This video made me smile because I recognize so many people from my childhood.
A Google Map of My Hometown
If you can relate to my situation of being caught or stuck or confused between two cultures please comment on my story below. I am protected as an American citizen and I am proud of this fact but I can not share this protection with all of my family, why? Can the United States do more in welcoming the immigrant and protecting a bridge between two cultures? Yes! If I knew my family in El Salvador would all be OK and could visit me here without trouble then I would feel good about the opportunities this country gives me. I still feel the anxiety of my childhood because our leadership today is afraid of immigration. We are living in a world of migrants and we must do more to protect the security of the human family. Living between 2 cultures is more common today than ever in World History and so we must look for solutions to the fear and anxiety especially among certain cultures like Latinos. This nation was built by immigrants and has at the same time had moments of fear like this in the past but the number of immigrants will not be decreasing in the future. Sending them home or building high walls will never be the answer.
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