This I Believe

Pablo - Flowery Branch, Georgia
Entered on December 3, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: immigrant

A Real Immigration Story

Leaving one’s own country requires a lot of courage or perhaps desperation. Throughout history, people have seen immigration as a last choice for a better future; however, nowadays, immigration has taken on greater importance due to the lack of resources in the underdeveloped nations. Leaving one’s country is not an easy decision to make. Immigrating to another country always brings social, economic, and cultural challenges to the immigrant. Consequently, immigrant people tend to be more courageous and audacious than the average people of their countries since they risk everything they have. As an immigrant, I know from personal experience that moving to another country can change one’s perspective towards life and make one a stronger person.

Everything was good when I was a child. I did not have to worry about what my parents did. I was completely unaware of the socio-economic problems that my country was facing at that time. These problems continued, and I slowly became familiar with them. However, I never thought that I was going to have to immigrate. These socio-economic issues became critical and started to affect my family, so my father had no choice but to leave the country. He moved to Spain because the legal requirements were less strict there than in other countries. After my father had settled, my mom and my brother moved there also. When immigrating, it is usually the head of the family who leaves first so that he or she may work as a support for the rest of the family.

This separation brought terrible consequences for my sister and me. This was the first time in my life that I was completely separated from my family. I felt that I was half-living, that my life was broken into pieces and that all those pieces were crucial to keep myself alive. My sister went to live in my aunt’s house while I stayed with my grandparents. My grandfather, who has passed away, was really sick and my grandmother needed some help as some company as well. Even though I was staying with my grandparents, living without my parents was still not the same. Nothing could be compared with the presence of my parents. Not having my parents by my side at a very young age was a hard challenge that I was not ready to go through. I had a hole in my heart that could not be filled with any other thing but my parents.

After two years, my parents were financially stable and were able to afford to bring my sister and me to their side. I was looking forward to that moment during all that time. Although those were the longest two years I had to live, we were finally together, and there was nothing else that could have made me happier. I started to build a new life. It was hard getting acquainted into a new culture under different customs and beliefs, but at the same time I was excited. I was opening myself to different points of view, seeing life with different perspectives and learning new things. I also had the chance to meet people who shared my same experiences and feelings. Even though this challenge of having emigrated changed my life completely, I realized that life keeps going no matter where we are and what we do, and that all these experiences will build our character.

Looking back on time, immigration is not all that bad because it has taught me things about life. Having immigrated has opened my mind to more perspectives and cultures. So much so, that I am not so enclosed to my own personal pursuits. Immigration has also changed my point of view towards the challenging situations we have to face in life in order to ensure the well-being of the family. Whichever the reason is to immigrate, most of us share the same goal: “to have an opportunity at a better life.”