In 1998 when I was three years old, a few months before immigrating to the U.S, I went with my mom on a pilgrimage to a church in Apizaco, Tlaxcala. My mom tells me that while browsing the marketplace by the church, my attention was caught by a stall selling some crosses. I was apparently really stubborn and wouldn’t leave until I got the cross which she eventually bought. My mom likes to tell me that she found the cross hidden in a suitcase that we were bringing and took it out only for me to find out and put it back. I continued to do this until my mom was convinced by my grandma to take the cross with us as she thought it would make me feel safe as we traveled, but also so that I would have a piece of home with me. I’m not religious although I was raised catholic so I don’t view the cross in a religious way, regardless of my grandma thinking the cross was my guardian angel, but rather it’s a reminder of my time living in Puebla and the few memories that I have of my early childhood especially those regarding my grandma. Most importantly, this cross helps me to not forget how I got to the U.S. and the emotions I felt when coming to this country.
– Rosio Santos Castelan