Exploring Your Ethnic Roots Will Not Only Enhance Your Understanding Of Your Family History

Exploring Your Ethnic Roots Will Not Only Enhance Your Understanding Of Your Family History

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Exploring your ethnic roots will not only enhance your understanding of your family history but it will show ways it has shaped you. I am a 24-year-old heterosexual Hispanic woman that was raised in Fresno, California in a Catholic family. As an able-bodied citizen, I considered my social class upbringing to be middle class because I always had the necessary resources growing up. Being raised within the Mexican culture has helped me identify with myself. I sought information from my parents to determine their experiences in the United States and how that has affected me today.
Before diving into the conversation with my parents about their past in the United States, I knew several things. I knew that my parents had immigrated to the United States before any of my grandparents did. From my understanding, my parents immigrated to the U.S. to find a better life and provide sufficient income for our family in Mexico. A “Coyote”, or a human smuggler, would falsify documentation or find accessible ways to transport illegal immigrants into the United States. Growing up, I heard the stories of how my parents immigrated with my siblings to the United States and how much easier it was to cross the border before the Coyotes were owned by the mafia. I went on to ask my father what his experiences have been and what drew him to the United States.
My father first entered the United States in the 60’s voluntarily in the sense that no one forced him to enter, but he was forced in the sense of the economic circumstance. For instance, he was living in Cerro Colorado, a small village in the state of Colima, Mexico. There were very few jobs and the available jobs did not pay enough. My father was a truck driver, driving people to work but that job ...


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... noticed how uncomfortable they were in attending for the reason that they were not fluent with the language and did not clearly understand the structure of American schools. I had to get used to the idea that my parents were not going to guide me through school considering they had not received a higher education. My father had only gone to 2nd grade while my mother only attended school until she was in 6th grade. Now that I understand that my parents did not have the privilege or the opportunity to obtain a higher education, I want to make sure I take advantage of all my opportunities. I became self-disciplined in school and worked extremely hard to acquire my Bachelors from University of California, San Diego. To this day, I am pursuing my Masters in Social Work and it is all thanks to the obstacles my parents had to face to get here and raise me in this society.

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