When I was 17 years old, my mother gave me a little cross. It is a small piece of metal, painted blue with white letters. On one side it says “Padre Nuestro.” I think in English it is “Our Father.” On the other side it has the name of my great-grandfather, my grandfather and also my name, which is Jeovany. It is small and light like my house key, so I can carry it with me in my pocket everywhere and any time. This little cross has been in my family for many years. It is a symbol of hope and unity for us. It is important for me because it reminds me of the oldest generations in our family. When I came to the United States, the first months were difficult for me. I didn’t have friends and didn’t speak English. When I had problems, I just took out my cross and prayed to Our Father. When I do that, it reminds me that I am not alone. That no matter if I am far from home, all my family is with me. When I see my cross, I can see how an object can tell me where my family is from. Hopefully, my cross will be passed to my son, and I hope that he will be carry on like me and my ancestors. Even though he probably will be born here, I know it is a different culture than my country. I want to tell him about our culture in my family, and where his father is from, and how important this cross was to me when I came to America. Maybe the cross can still be in my family for generations.
– Jeovany Zavala