My Greatgrandmothers Story

My Grandmother at age 2
My Grandmother at age 2

My story wouldn’t be where it is today if it weren’t for my great grandmother, Maria. In 1949 as a single mother with 4 kids she boarded a train in El Paso with no papers or documentation. They were leaving Mexico because life was very hard for a single mother and she knew there was better opportunity in the United States. Her family made it to the train station because of one day passports but it was illegal to stay for any longer. If discovered on the train she knew they would be sent back to where they came, fortunately a fight broke out on the train and delayed it considerably to the point where nobody came to check for tickets or papers. Their train ride had begun, and they were on their way to Chicago. A stop was made in Missouri where Immigration boarded. Fearful but with nothing to do but sit and wait Maria kept the kids quiet and with some kind of miracle Immigration officers walked past with just a glance. Maria, Emma, Arthur, David, and my Grandma, Grace had made it they were now able to start a new and better life for their family. Once in Chicago they settled down In Oak-Park River Forest. Five years after coming to the US they returned to Juarez, Mexico and got their official papers. If it wasn’t for the bravery of my Great Grandmother and her kids I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Place(s): Mexico, Chicago, El Paso, St. Louis
Year: 1949

– Barrett Fiore

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant