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I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

Every story starts with a Once upon a time

By Andres  |   From : Cuba  |   School : Plantation High School

  Every story starts with a Once upon a time there was a beautiful etcetera… etcetera… and so much more to tell about a wonderland that never showed the reality of it all. Many of Latin American families come from the struggles of life moving on to come to what some call it “the place where dreams come true”, but we clearly know that only happens in Disney or does it? That’s what all parents and many ads tell the next new comers or the kids that never really understood how they really got to the U.S. kind of how we are told Santa is getting ready for winter if we behave good enough for him.  

        Cuba the place where my nightmares turned upside down and I lived loved and happy and even more loved my family and friends. To me the love came from their heart and that was true love. I loved every single second, minute, hour, day, week, month and year of being the people that helped me grow. I was bullied in my elementary school in Cuba, until one day I became the bully for all of them. Felt as if I was the king of my school sort of like if I was the gang boss. Pretty evil yes you can say, but it hit me right back when my front tooth felt off. Well that ended it for me, and the bully came right back.  

           I loved my neighborhood I enjoyed every beautiful piece of it from bottom to broken roofs of every house there was. It was all a piece of art that you will never find anywhere else in the world. This may amaze your imagination, or it may not, I wasn’t really trying to. Those beautiful views at night were not fun to go out and explore with your family or anyone else. The streets at night were full of extreme crimes like robbery and killing and drugs and some more illegal things that cops never bothered to chase after simply because they didn’t care for no one other than themselves.   

           My growth was revolved around my grandparents and my lazy uncle which still lived with them. My grandpa worked his heart out in a military based with transferred goods such as food and materials for people. He was a big boss and I admired him for what he has done over his years. Never seen a man as hard working as him and the love that he put into his work. My grandma was La Jefa as they called her the one always doing everything the community. She was the president of our Community Government which was and still is something like Latinos In Action.  

           Years passed of a beautiful life alongside my grandparents which by the way were many strong years without my parents. My dad was sent out by the government as a doctor. Later on, he decided to escape and fly to the U.S. My mother lived most of her life after she had me in Italy working at anything to have enough money to support me and the family in Cuba. I missed both of them like crazy they were my eyes, my heart, my everything and until this day they still are.  

            The day came when I received the news “Andres this is hard for me to say, but you are leaving to live in the U.S. with your father”. I freaked out to know I was coming to the U.S. the land where I never dreamed of even coming. Remembered when I said that The States is the land where dreams come true, well I really didn’t like the idea of it. Who cares you only live once so why not (it’s not like I’m forced to) I was forced to go since my dad missed me and yes I missed him even more.  

            Began to struggle with school since I had no idea what I was reading or listening too. But hey here I am years later living a good life not the one form Cuba, but one that I am thankful for every day. I am always pushing forward in school as who I am and who I am to become. My story is one to remember and that I always need to come back to in order to know who I was, who I am and who I will be.     

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