Original English Version (Spanish Translation Coming Soon)
Author: Looking Owl
My name is Looking Owl. That is my whole name, and I am 16 years old. My story is about my journey, my immigration Odyssey and the present and impending circumstances I have faced in the U.S.
I am from El Salvador from a rural community with huge hills and mountains and deep rivers that come from it, called San Antonio. I lived there with my mom. She is adorable and eloquent. My grandmother and cousins with whom I used to play, and the moments that I spent with them are remembered and cherished.
Growing up was a little sad because I grew up almost without my father even though I used to visit him. While in the school, my classmates would ask, “where is your father?” I used to tell them with a sad voice that he was away for a while, that he had to work. I was studying, doing very well, thinking of going to the university and become a doctor but that wouldn't be easy. One day, surprisingly that changed because my father said he decided to come to the U.S where my aunts were, and they said that coming will be good for me due to challenging situations of the country. He wanted me to go with him, telling me that I will be studying and accomplishing my goals. The idea of better opportunities are not always to come to the U.S., but the circumstances give us no other choice.
After that, suitcase in hand, we left behind our dusty rural town. Two days had passed and we were out of my country chasing the so-called American dream that I soon would find out, was not easy. In complete secrecy I found myself crossing Guatemala. My father said “prepárate que vamos de mojado” in the search of the land of opportunities. Few days passed, filled with buses, vans, and frequent rests along the way, going through Guatemala to finally reach near of Mexico where we remained in something called “la bodega” for 5 days before initiating the travel in Mexico, where I became two times “mojado”. From time to time we called home to chat with my mom who sounded like she was crying and that was understandable. Miles and miles separated us, and I am her only son. When I was saying goodbye she was not crying, she said, “I will be crying of happiness when you my son get your goals done so I will be proud”. Again in Mexico I asked the time, loudly somebody said 4:50.
We got into a rusty and shady truck and embarked into days of long trips until we reach the city of Villahermosa where we met other persons, exhausted of walking and running under the pressure of the coyotes who do not care about you, who looked us as easy money. They were preparing a huge load, so to speak. Just a week later at 8 o'clock they yelled to us “vamos.” We all entered a bigger van, suddenly the people began to pile up like animals. Besides me and my father in total, more than 50 people were there in that small and dark space. All of us “dreaming” women and children and men, we were all there. Twenty two hours passed to reach the city of Reynosa. I got off really thirsty, numb, sweaty, and hungry. That was the last “stays” until we crossed the well-known Rio Bravo. We walked little bit, then “migracion” caught us. I didn't know who those people dressed in green were. I was in a complicated process to finally give us to my family already here. The only thing I know is that I have to give my best to be a man of good, to make my mom proud.
I am in the school right now, which is a path to my goals. I am really happy with the people I have met, and I am learning English. It is easier to embarrass myself every time that I try to speak it, than travel hiding through Mexico. My graduation year is in 2020. I will be cheerful because I know all the way, all I have done has been of benefit.
Yet, what is like for an undocumented immigrant to be here in United States of America? From my personal experience and understanding, I know that it is not easy when you feel the financial pressure, even when a father and mother work even three jobs because they have a family on their backs to support. It is not easy when you are an undocumented student who does not speak English. Running against a clock to be able to put a step at the doors of a university with little time while at the same time working hard to earn some money and to survive, it is not easy.
It is painful when you feel discrimination by people who perhaps maybe did not receive love, and they have grown a rock in their heart, and in their minds a cloud reigns. It merely seems to be the product of non-understanding or the impediment to see beyond, to understand the deep and complex issues that plagues our societies. To see that the reason we migrate is because the U.S, has affected our nations in bad ways economically and politically.
I am shocked, I am astonished to see that the suppose beacon of liberty that this country says it represents as a government, that without hesitation, it is able to rip out a young child from his family, whose innocence does not allow him to perceive what is happening, and put them in cages as if it is an animal. Families belong together.