In 1994, my mom Ismenya Calderon began her journey onto a better future for herself and her children. She decided to go to America. My mom’s from Ecuador and is one of 7 children. She attended school but soon dropped out because she had children to take care of. My mom knew it was too dangerous for her children, so she had to leave them with their grandmother. She went illegally in a large group of people, traveling by vehicle and foot. On her travels she only brought clothing and a bracelet. She ended up throwing out all of her clothes because they were very dirty but managed to keep the bracelet. She received this as a gift for her fifth birthday, and this was one of the few gifts she got as a child. Upon arrival to America, it was hard for her to adapt because she came from a small village to this huge city (New York). She learned how to use transportation by trial and error, but easily adapted to other things. She stayed at her sister’s house, and learned English by attending classes. She got a job and later met my dad. By immigrating here, my mom can connect to the U.S.’s larger history because like her, it was first inhabited by people from around the world which resulted in America’s wide variety of people with many different cultures and beliefs.
– Sadiya Rajput