This I Believe

Izabela - Morganton, North Carolina
Entered on February 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: immigrant
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Coming to America

On a scorching March day in Santa Eulilia, Huehuetenago, Guatemala my mother gave birth to me. I was born into a vigorous, working family who would never let problems get in our way of living. There was always a solution to a problem when it seemed unattainable. My father tended the land and harvested crops to feed our family. My parents always believed in a dream of a better life, especially for me. When I was about six my parents decided that success for our family was in another land, America. This country that was exaggerated as being overflowing with riches and gold. Where a foot would land, underneath would be a treasure chest full of gold. Later we discovered it to be bogus because success was achieved through persistent work and sweat.

We left behind our home, families and friends. My eyes swelled up with huge tears because I knew in my heart that I may never see my family again. We traveled to the coyote’s luxurious house where my family was permitted to stay, and before our eyes laid a house of gold. Everything had a shine and glimmer that we never laid eyes on before. I thought that I could live there my entire life and each day I would encounter something exotic.

We departed his house and continued our journey. We were informed about the transportation, which was no surprise that the majority of the trip would be made on foot and sometimes by train or bus. During the time that my parents walked they took turns carrying me. At times my mother felt like giving up because her legs were dragging behind her as if a powerful magnet pulling her towards the ground. Her limbs felt as heavy as a massive load of grain. She was determined to get me to an unknown land and raise me as best she could. One specific event was when we crossed over the Arizona border which was lined with walls of steel that seemed to reach the sky. She had to carry me across by summoning the strength of a sumo wrestler and taking a huge leap. When she opened her eyes I was staring back at her . Finally, we traversed the last barrier and we were in America. A short trip into L.A. was eye opening for me. I thought that I was imaging things. On my left I saw huge giants better known to me now as skyscrapers, which appeared to be staircases to heaven. I was so excited to see everything new around me that I never thought about my home in Guatemala. We stayed with my uncle until a flight to Florida, our temporary home.

I now know that my parents’ dream is now mine. I believe in a better way of life for myself in the future. Pursuing an education and attaining an excellent career are now my dreams.