My Peruvian American Story

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I’m from Peru.  We came to the United States in 1999 when I was three years old. I lived in Herndon, Virginia for 15 years.  We traveled around the United States  when I was age nine. New York  reminded me of the cities in Peru from the feeling and tall buildings. The city environment was similar but there were so many different kinds of people from other countries with different languages. The view from New York made me a little home sick, but in the end I noticed that I have adapted to this American life over the years.

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I remember at age thirteen going back to Peru to go see my family. I also went on tour to go sight seeing to the mountains like Machu P icchu and the caves of Peruvian beaches. Other then that I had a blast with my grandmother, twin aunts, twin uncle and great grandfather. The streets of Peru were all about making money. Some children can’t afford to go to school.  Instead of school they work at a young age selling candy on the street corners, washing cars when the traffic lights turn red, and some even go around begging for money. Some day when finish school I will go back to make a differences in my country to provide other children an opportunity to go to school. Children are the future of the country they are the enlightenment thinkers in how to change the country  for the best.

After I returned to the United States there was a major issue  with my resident documents. If I  didn’t arrive soon then all my documents would have been  lost for being  away from the United States for at least six mouths. I am an Immigrant who came for a better life in the United States.  If didn’t come here I’ve would have been in the streets selling candy in Peru.

begging4-4029-700-600-80-c-rd-239-238-171Growing up in the United States changed my personality from being a child who followed all the rules to a rebelling teenager.  This rebellion started with my  tattoos at the age of 14. I got my tattoos on my own as a way to declare my independence and proclaim my identity.  The first one is a crown with Peru in the middle on my right arm;  it means respect  for my country. Before you know it  I was getting more tattoos on my skin. I ended up with a star with three dice.  On the left side of the star it has Virginia, in the middle are the numbers 511 for my area code and three dots on the right of the star. The whole star means three different parts of me. I also have my mothers  name on the left arm. I also have praying hands on the left arm on my shoulder with hand cuffs.  It symbolizes my faith in religion and my confidence in myself no matter how other  people may think of me.  The quote says “only God can judge me.”

 

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Regionalism in America can unite us and divide us.  When there are common outside enemies, the United States stands united to defeat them.  This was true in World War II when African-Americans, Native Americans, Mexican Americans and Japanese Americans fought side by side to defeat the common enemies of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.  This remains true today when we respond to terrorist attacks or help each other in times of emergency.

The Civil War in America was a result of division over the different regions of North and South in America.  Regionalism divided us to the point of breaking the Union in 1861 and causing great bloodshed over different economy, geography and beliefs about slavery. Half of America believed in the right for states to have their own laws and to have slave states, but the other half believed that all states must follow national laws.  South Carolina was the first state to break away from the Union.  South Carolina wanted to keep slavery and they did not want to pay taxes on foreign goods.

My tattoo belief  is my freedom of speech of how I feel about regionalism defining who I am.  We are defined by the regions where we live and by our experiences sharing in different cultures.  Tattoos are freedom of expression.  Just like the 1st Amendment is prohibiting the federal government from any involvement in our personal religion, free speech  and free association; I have the right to express myself and the sections of my life that define me as long as I preserve the union of diverse American culture in which I live. American culture is so rich in diversity.  So much  struggle has taken place over the years for immigrants, people of color,  and women to gain equal rights and form a “more perfect union”.

 

The sacred heights of Machu Piccu attrack many visitors to Peru and remind me of my roots