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Search for a Better Life: Literacy DC Featured Student

by Anonymous

I was born in Jalisco, Mexico. We lived on a farm in the countryside. We were a family of 12; my mom and dad and I had five sisters and four brothers. I went to school until the 6th grade. I really liked studying. I wish I could have continued studying.

Art by Ryan Miller

When I was about 24 years old, my dad and I and a cousin left Mexico and came to the U.S. It was a long trip. There were a few other people in our group; we went from Jalisco to Tijuana. In Tijuana, a man called “a coyote” drove us out of the city and somewhere in the countryside. We all walked over the border. It was late afternoon. The “coyote” told us where to walk to and that a car would pick us up. 

The car took us to San Diego. We all spent some days waiting and then we were driven to another town. From there we flew to Chicago – another relative of ours had sent money for the airplane tickets. All the way along in the places where we had to wait there were lots of other people from Mexico and some from other countries too – mostly they were men but some had families too. I felt safe enough with my father there. 

In Chicago, it took a month to find a job. I worked as a housekeeper in a hotel and my father washed dishes in a restaurant. My father returned to Mexico after about eight months. I had some relatives in Chicago – aunts and uncles and a brother. 

After five or six years I met the man who is now my husband. He had come from the same part of Mexico but I did not know him in Mexico. He and I shared the same values – how we wanted to live our lives. We now have three wonderful children.

I left my home country because I wanted better opportunities – for myself and then for my family. I never heard of Wisconsin or Door County before we came here but now we like it here. It is peaceful, safe and beautiful.

Literacy Door County (LDC) is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization offering one-to-one tutoring in English to adults who wish to improve their skills in speaking, reading and writing English. LDC trains tutors, pairs them with students, chooses the curriculum and provides tutors and students with ongoing support. LDC also offers lessons to students seeking citizenship and welcomes any adult with basic literacy needs.

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