|Year-By-Year | application | information|
Genevieve Russell | Freelance | Santa Fe, Nm
Bryan Van Der Beek
• VIEW STORY: Between Both Worlds •
"You start feeling very alone once you've been here [United States] for a while," said Oviel Medina. "Although it is a long and arduous trip, the decision to bring my family to Louisiana, Missouri from Mexico wasn't difficult". Oviel's partner of fifteen years, Nubia Soto, 30, and their three kids, Edgar Eduardo Medina Soto, 13, Nubia Isella Medina Soto, 11, and Brenda Magaly Medina Soto, 5 traveled from Sonora, Mexico to the United States in June of 2001 after Oviel found work at Home Products International, a plastics factory, and a place to live in Louisiana. "When we left we cried so much," said Isella, " but when we saw my father in Phoenix, Arizona we were so happy".
The kids started school a week after they arrived in the United States. Isella remembers the kids looking at her and saying, "Porque me estas mirando a mi hacia a ello? Why are you looking at me like that"? After two and a half years in Missouri, the kids speak flawless English and the faculty at the Louisiana R-2 school district considers them each a success story in assimilation. They excel in school, are active in sports and have wonderful friendships. This speaks to the acceptance of the Louisiana R-2 school district, the eagerness of each child to learn and the love and encouragement that is embedded in the family. But asked if they wanted to be American. The answer was a resounding no. Edgar, 13, stated, " I am proud to be Mexican. I'm not like an American. I don't feel like an American. I know I am Mexican, so that's the way it's going to be. And, I can't wait to go back to Mexico. When I do, I'll start working on my career as a lawyer". Isella wants to go back for the traditional celebration of her 15th birthday and Brenda is eager to see her grandmother. However, they are kids. They want to be liked, they want to play and learn. Their family's time here in Louisiana is significant for the history of the small town of Louisiana and of course for their personal histories.
Migrant families are just that, moving and temporary. They come for an economic opportunity not available in their home country. The risk of border patrol, the sacrifice of goodbyes, the isolation of being a minority is all justified by the ability to work and make a living wage. This economic gain will bring the most benefit to the children.
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