When I was 13 years old my mom told me and my brothers were coming to the U.S. They were the best news I had ever receive. I have been dreaming of coming to the United States since I was a little girl, since I was five. I remember starting school at five and telling my dad “to no quiero ir a la escuela aquí, yo quiero ir allá”
I left the house in a Sunday morning with my brothers. The man that came and got us took us to San Salvador where we got on a bus to the border of Guatemala and El Salvador and then we got in another bus that took us to a hotel in la capital of Guatemala. In the first day of our journey to the U.S. I was full of fear, excitement and sadness. I was leaving behind the only things I have ever known in my life, I was leaving my people but at the same time I was coming to MY people I was coming to the place I have always wanted to be.
We spent those days in that hotel, we joined two other families, there was 12 of us in total. We left the hotel really early, while it was still dark outside a man put all of us in a taxi that took us to a terminal and we got on a bus again and se were in that bus the whole day until we got to the Guatemala and México border. Until this part of the trip, everything had gone well but things were about to get real and scary. While crossing México, my brother started getting sick, he had always had trouble when riding the bus because he starts to have a difficult time breathing and he starts vomiting and that is how he was the whole time during our trip in México. On the previous day we arrived to the border, he stopped breathing for 4 minutes, 4 minutes that felt endless, 4 minutes that I saw men lifting him up trying to make him breath, 4 minutes watching my little brother’s face full of fear, 4 minutes in which I had to keep a brave face on for my little brother. After 4 minutes he started he started breathing again and se went on with our trip and we got to the U.S.-México border. We went to a hotel, waiting for the perfect moment to cross.
Then a man came into our room and said that Anibal, my big brother, had to go to another place because he was not a kid, he was a man and he couldn’t be there, he had to be with the men. So he took him and of course I had to act like everything was gonna be okay, for my little brother. But inside I was breaking down, all I could think about were all the things that could happen to him and how we wouldn’t know anything about it, all I could think about was how we could leave him behind. Which was exactly what happened, after two nights in the hotel se were told it was time for us to cross to the other side but our brother wasn’t there yet, we had no idea where they took him, my little brother and I kept telling those people who were with us that we wouldn’t cross without him. We couldn’t leave him behind but we didn’t have a choice se had to cross. My little brother and I crossed with the other people, the border patrol got us, and they took away everything we had,they only left us with the clothes we were wearing.
Then, they took us to a detention center, a really really cold place, we were given a frozen mortadella sandwich and water that tasted like bleach. I was place in the cell with all the girls and my little brother in the boys’ cell. After being there for about 6 hours I saw him walk in, Anibal finally came through that door I was so relief to know that he was okay.
I didn’t see them for about 8-10 days, I lost count because when you are there you never know if it’s day or night. I remember looking through the window of where I was trying to spot their faces in the other cell but I could never see them. I remember how names of the other girls were being called throughout those days and I never heard mine. The day mine was called I was sitting by the door and as soon as I hear my name I just jump right out of that door. Then I was reunited with my little brother, se were about to fly to San Diego and I asked for Anibal. The social worker that was coming with us said that since he was 15 already he couldn’t be with us, that he couldn’t be in the same place as the two of us. But that he had already been taken out of the detention center and that he was in much better conditions. My little brother and I were taking to a foster home, that was my favorite part of the whole trip. There was so much food, REAL food, it was so good that I got seconds every time and sometimes even thirds when the people taking care of us let me. Se had our own playground in the backyard and a Bounce house all for ourselves. We were living the life. But of course our family wasn’t there so we wanted to leave and come to our parents.
The day we finally got to DC was May 11,2018. Anibal joined us in San Diego and we flew home together. After 10 years I finally got to see my dad again, he left when I was 4 and my madre left when I was 11, so I was only separate from her for two years, and I saw my baby sister,Sherlyn, for the first time. We were finally home, we were finally together after all those years.
This was my trip to the United States, my trip to the “American Dream”. I went days without eating, I freezed at nights, I traveled through dangerous roads and so much more to come here and realize that the hardest part of reaching my American Dream was not the trip but what was about to come.