Ten years ago, although it feels like yesterday, I left my friends, family, and people who had seen me grow up; I left my country. With my head filled with illusions and my pockets full of dreams, the only important thing to me was to be reunited with my parents and my brother in the United States.
I had heard people say many things about el norte, such as, “In el norte they sweep up the dollars.” This may be true, but the broom with which you sweep them is full of thorns, and these thorns have names: insults, humiliations, and discrimination. When we come, we come because of a dream, and for this dream we will even work without sleeping, hoping for a better life. But our dream keeps being deferred.
My dreams began at Pomona College, where my parents worked, where I found more than coworkers; I found friends. People offered me their friendship without regard to the color of my skin, language, or ideology.
In all of these years that my family and I were at Pomona, there were good moments and others that were not so good. One of these was with Cathy Hicks. I’m sorry for the pain it caused her; it wasn’t a personal attack. My family decided to go back, but I stayed here with the dream that I brought here from my country, and I will continue to fight for it. I learned at Pomona that our dreams will continue to be deferred unless we stand up and fight for them. It is time for all of us to look forward together so that this country is a place where everyone can achieve his or her dream.