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Opinion Writing

Surviving the United States

I am I and my circumstance; and, if I do not save it, I do not save myself.

José Ortega y Gasset

The circumstances that force a family, or a person, to emigrate can be different and unexpected. In my case, the circumstances that led my life to go from being in Bolivia to being in the U.S. didn’t make much sense. It would take me years to unravel that mess and understand why my family decided to emigrate.

At that time the idea I heard, from adults, before traveling; it was that life is better there, that you are going to live with your dad. The only thing I came to understand from those words was that there was an immense expectation, the anticipation was all around me. No one sat down to explain to me what did they mean by ‘life is better there‘? or why would we stop living with Mom?

Two years after arriving a snowstorm lasted two weeks, that was one of the longest winters my sisters and I had lived through until then. Virginia, USA December 2009