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I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

Starting All Over

By Yareli Garcia  |   From : Nochistlan Zacatecas, Mexico  |   School : Social Justice Humanitas Academy

I was born in Mexico and grew up there until I was 5 years old. I lived in mexico with my mom, brother and sister. My dad was never at home because he would come to the United States to work and provide for us. My family and I did not like living like that so we attempted to come to the U.S. when I was 4 years old so that me and my family could be together. We did all of our paperwork but when we were in the process of it, my mom found out she was pregnant with my  youngest brother. We ended up going back to Mexico and stayed there until my mom gave birth to my brother. When my brother was a year old, we attempted coming to the U.S. again. This time we were successful but we had some difficulties getting here. It was taking very long for us to get our papers. Another thing was that a lot of our family member didn’t want us to leave. They were very sad about it and so were we. It was hard to say our goodbyes but we tried to stay positive. We crossed the border on a bus to Texas where we stayed with my aunt. After a week in Texas, we flew to where we would be living which was here, San Fernando California. My first impression of the valley was that I did not like it at all. It looked nothing like Mexico. The first few weeks were the worst because our house didn’t feel like home. It was so empty and looked sad. I kept having the mentality that we were going back to Mexico and that this was only temporarily. I did not want to accept the reality. Going to school was the worst thing ever. I didn’t know anyone and worst of all I didn’t speak English at all. People would talk to me in English on purpose. They would make me feel bad about myself. That made me think I was the one who wasn’t good when in reality they were but I didn’t see that. I would cry everyday because I didn’t want to go to school. It was like this for a couple of months until kindergarten ended. For first grade I went to another school. By then I had a couple of friends and at this school. This school was also bilingual so I had my class not only in Spanish but also in English which helped me a lot. I started learning English little by little. If I didn’t understand something or didn’t know how to say something, I would ask for help. I started improving and by the time I was in third grade I was able to speak, read and write English. I was also already pretty used to living here in the United States. Things were just so much better in general. It was hard at first but I was able to use my resources to overcome the obstacles that came my way.

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