Sonder - Valeria Vega Chavez - Little Authors -


In 2002, when my parents were still young, they resided in Tlacotepec, Mexico, and neither my brother, who is now 14 years old, nor I had yet been born. My mother and father shared a little home with my 2-year-old brother.

My parents would put in long hours at work to pay the rent and provide for my younger brother’s needs. He was the first of my grandmas’ and grandpas’ offspring to be born. He always gave joy to everyone and was very significant to my grandpa, so the family was ecstatic to have him. Many people were crossing the border in the town where my folks reside. My dad understood he needed to make more money at that time because they were having problems obtaining employment.

At that time, my dad realized he needed to get more money, and they were having trouble finding work. That was when my mom and dad wanted to cross the border and go to the U.S. looking for a better life. Something held them back. “What about my son?” my mother said. After thinking about what they were going to do, they took my brother along. There was a car my dad paid a lot of money for; it was their life
savings combined. That car was going to drop my dad off on the border, and they were going to have to run. That’s what was going through his mind; he was praying all through the journey. My dad was alone. My parents decided that my dad was going to cross first and my mom was going to cross after my dad called her from the U.S. He jumped out of the car and began running now that he was in front of the border.

All the way through, he found a man and a woman. They followed each other and took care of each other; he had found company. My dad tells me how he would see bones that looked like people, insects, and things that were poisonous. He tells me it was dangerous. Also, he said, there were parents who sent their 10 year olds alone to the U.S. for them to send them money, or even 5-year-olds; they were just little kids and did not deserve that. He had hopes that he would make it safely to the United States, so he went days
walking and sleeping without getting caught. On the last day of the journey, the woman he was accompanied by had half her leg left.

My dad described it as being bloody, and it looked scary, nasty, and gross. When they were about to get to the United States, there was ICE. The man was alone; he saw my dad, the woman who was injured, and the other man, who had blood all over his face and was draining his eyes. They were right at the end, heading to the U.S. The ICE worker told my dad and the other 2 people to run before he regretted it, and before his
co-workers came and saw that he was letting them off, he yelled “RUN” and repeated himself lots of times.

My father always expresses his appreciation for him. When my dad got to the US, he had nothing; he had to work hard, and his family wouldn’t help him; They only gave him a small room in Los Angeles, which was barely any space, and he was suffering. My mom was worried back in Mexico because my dad had not called. The day my dad called my mom, she was crying so hard she could not explain her emotions or bother to breath. When it was my mom’s turn to cross the border, my brother was not going to go along; instead, they were going to cross him later.

My mom had been walking for days and suffering. One of the most tragic events in her life occurred while she was walking through the desert, when some men pointed a weapon at her head and told her to give her all the money she had or they would kill her. When the guys saw a car approaching, they left my mother behind, and she hid. The car was chasing the guys. The car saw them, but not my mother. Meanwhile, they were not going to cross the border with my brother; they were not going to risk his life. He got in a car with some people who had green cards and pretended to be his parents.

Since he was little, they did not ask for his papers. My family was all together in California. We lived there for years and struggled. People in Mexico have the mindset that you are rich when you go to the United States. It’s not like you have to work for it. In 2009, I was born in California, as was my brother, who was born in 2007. Months later, my father found a job opportunity in Fort Collins. He worked for three people, and he was so good at landscaping that more and more people wanted him to design their yards. He progressed from there to now, when my father owns his own business and we have a lovely home.

My dad has his green card now. My family and I live a very healthy and happy life. My parents want me to do something in life. Every time I do not have the energy, I remember how much they gave for me and my siblings to be in this world with all the things we want. I will always love my parents, and I look up to them as my heroes. I will always be grateful for the things I have and do not have and for the opportunity to study. I will be eternally grateful because who knows who I would be if my parents had not sought a better life and simply given up?

My parents have taught me that not everyone has the same luck or opportunities, but they never gave up, so if I want something, I should never give up. They have shown me how to be a better person, and even if life gets bad and painful, you always need to get back up and work through it. Life is always going to have some sort of problem, and it’s just going to test you. You must be prepared because problems will not be resolved overnight. You need to do good for yourself first before you can do good for others. They taught me to be nice and humble when it comes to not hating on others and wishing them the best even if they don’t. You never know what will happen to you or them in the future. You might need their help, or they will need yours. It is beneficial to have respect so that you are well known and people respect you in return. We all have suffered or will suffer, so just respect yourself and others. Be humble. And I always remember to have a good relationship with my family and brothers so that one day, if I need them or they need me, we will help each other and stay in contact. Even if we grow apart, we will always be there for one another. Not everyone thinks like you, but everyone has feelings and goes through hard moments, and everyone thinks just like you do so this is why I say to always no matter what don’t forget about the Golden Rule.

By Valeria Vega Chavez

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