I was born in El Salvador and I came to the United States at the age of 9, although Spanish is my first language (I speak and write it fluently) I prefer English. My dad is Cuban and so when people ask about my background I say I’m more Cuban than Salvadorean because I know more of the customs of Cubans than I do Salvadorean (read Cuba Libre).
El Salvador is an extremely poor and violent country. My grandparents took care of us (my brother and I) while my parents were in America pursuing the American Dream. We arrived in the United States in 1997, I have never gone back. I am not ashamed of where I came from I am just not ready to go back to a place that brings back so many unwelcome memories, truth is I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready. Being born in a poor country has shaped the way I view the world. I learned at a young age that bad things happen to good people and that not everyone gets what they deserve, sad enough I have learned to live with this although I don’t accept it.
I am extremely grateful for all the opportunities this country has granted me. I have always attended great schools in great neighborhoods, I graduated from a private university (DePaul) with not one but two degrees, I retained my Spanish and I am proud to say that I speak and write it fluently. I enjoy luxuries I could only dream of while a little girl in El Salvador. I have been blessed with parents that have showered me with unconditional love and with a nation that is truly land of the free and the home of the brave.
It pains me to see individuals born in America that take it (this nation and its endless opportunities) for granted. There are many around the world who wish to one day live in a nation where they have the freedom to enjoy their lives. It is my mission in life to make sure that everything I do, benefits not only me but those less fortunate, for I was once one of them.
Life will always give you lemons, there’s nothing we can do to avoid that but it is up to us to decide what we will do with those lemons. Live life not only for your benefit but also for the benefits of others.