Relationship: Child of im/migrant
My United States passport
My United States passport

As my grandmother remarked, “The United States passport is a passport to the entire world.” Latinos recognize the United States as a land of opportunity, and its passport as a key that opens doors to the whole world and the endless opportunities within it. That key was the most valuable gift I have ever received, and it took the struggle and sacrifice of multiple generations to give me the life I was so fortunate to be endowed with.This metaphorical key and the opportunities it provides were not available for my father when he was born. My grandmother spent her whole life trying to get her family to the United States, after 35 years she was finally able to get a U.S. residency for two of her five children. Although she had to stay with her family in the Dominican Republic, my dad traveled to New York to become an engineer. He left friends and family behind to start over with nothing but the dream of a better life. He was told to give up on his dream of becoming an engineer since that was not a job for immigrants. However, his ambition allowed him to dream greatly and he was undeterred by the risk of failure. Despite risking everything on a dream that many people told him was crazy, to him the only failure would be to give up on his dream. When I reflect on the incredible journey that has granted me the endless opportunities I have now, I feel so grateful for them and inspired to take advantage of them, not for myself, but because I owe it to everyone who came before me. I was given the most valuable gift in the world and I will be forever indebted to my family for it.

Place(s): Queens, New York
Year: 1998

– Adrian Erazo

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant