These are my passports. I was born in 1963 on a farm in Gorbea, Chile. It is in the 9th region of Chile. When I was six years old, my grandparents sent me to a Catholic boarding school. I stayed in the boarding school until I was 13. I went back to live with my mom in Talcahueno, along the Chilean coast. I went to a co-ed Catholic high school and graduated in 1979. I took some courses at Arturo Prat Academy to become a secretary, but instead I started my own seafood restaurant with my mother. We served locos, picorocos, cholgas, and piures. We did well until the landlord raised the rent so high that we had to close. I came to the United States for the first time in 1982. I lived in Miami, Florida, for two years. While I was in Miami, I was unhappy. I missed my family in Chile. As a result, I went back to Chile for a while. In 1998, I came to New Orleans to live with my husband, whose family is from here. I studied English at Delgado Community College in New Orleans while working for an airline company. I worked for five years in a private daycare taking care of kids. For the last three years, I have worked as a paraprofessional in the Jefferson Parish School System teaching English as a Second Language. I wanted to stay in New Orleans because I feel that it is a small city. Whenever I go to the supermarket, I see someone I know. The biggest differences between living in Chile and in the United States are the language and the food.
– Ruth Williamson