My name is Pedro. I have 27 years. I came to America 4 years ago carrying nothing more than what I could carry in a BackPack, but my burden was way much heavy than that. When you come from a low-income family in Mexico inevitably, you go through the internal debate between crossing the border or staying at home with your loved ones.
Whoever said that money is not everything in life surely had enough to sit and see life passing by, but when you look at your nephew dying for lacking the money to buy asthma medicine, you see things differently.
I'm from a town near Villahermosa, the capital city of Tabasco. My family and I are descendants of the first settlers in the region, the Olmecs, and just like they were dedicated to pottery. Maybe my vocation was not in making clay jars and jaguars, but family always comes first. Being born practically in the middle of the rainforest doesn't give you many options, it was that or working on a Cacao Farm.
Cacao is what has given more value to the area since ancient days. My mom used to prepare us hot cocoa for breakfast every Sunday. I miss my mother a lot. I'm here for her; it doesn't matter if they call me Beaner or I have to sleep on the streets for a week or two. Every penny saved goes for her. When I talk to her on the phone, sometimes go speechless between the happiness of knowing they are doing O.K. and the sadness of not being able to hold her one more time.
That comforts me every day. Here they say that we steal their jobs, but are they willing to leave their nails off picking tomatoes 12 hours in a row when in season, or oranges, or carrots? Is the same, I came here to work, and that's what I'm doing, nobody says it was going to be easy.
During my first year, I woke up each morning with my hands hurt for sinking my nails into my palm while sleeping. It's hard to live knowing that you are being rejected by almost everyone you bump into, being unable communicate in English, but knowing how to play and sing the most beautiful songs in Nahuatl, or Spanish if you prefer.
I survive the dessert, the coyotes. Some of my best friends didn't. When I feel like I'm going to give up and move back, I remember them and their families; I consider everything I can do from here to help my people. That's another weight on my shoulders, maybe that's why I'm so short. Leaving behind everything you love, everything you know, even your name for a part of the minimum wage is a no-brainer when it comes to saving your family from famishing. For that opportunity, I'm grateful to God, and to this country, every single day.
Are you grateful for the opportunities you've had?
How much time had passed since you tell your family you love them?
Have you given up something to help your family?
How important is your family for you?