Between wind and tide

By Aracely  |   From : El Salvador  |   School : International High School at Langley Park

My story begins in Los Naranjos, El Salvador when I was 12 years old. I was living with my mom and my little sister. What I liked the most about El Salvador was the afternoons with my friends, cousins, and my grandparents. The afternoons were the most important part of my day because I always spent time with my loved ones, like my best friends or my grandparents by talking about personal stories or only making jokes. As well, I was halfway through the school year in sixth grade.

 I was feeling depressed because I didn’t want to come to the United States, but my parents had already taken the decision. I was scared and worried about my future in a new country with different cultures; for example, the language. However, I realized that was not my choice and I couldn’t do anything about it. I was in shock because at the moment that my mom told my mind started thinking about all I went through in El Salvador. 

Eventually, my parents took the decision, I talked with my mom about why they took that decision. My mom answered my question by saying me that we have to come to the U.S.A because of the violence that was happening in our country. The violence was that there were gangs who took control of our neighborhood Los Naranjos. I understood that, although I still didn’t want to come. I didn’t want to come even looking at the situation because it’s where I was born, it’s always going to be my pueblito. 

My heart was broken because I had to say goodbye to some of my loved ones, like my grandparents and my close friends. The ones that I didn’t tell, like my cousins and other people not too close to me, were because the decision was taken at the last minute and we didn’t want to make a rampage. A rampage because if everyone snowed we came to the United States, our safety was going to be exposed to danger. It was tough to see the people I grew up with and say bye, without knowing if I could be back.

In the course of that time, I accepted my destiny to come to the American empire. I accepted my circumstances because I was anxious to see my dad after 6 years. My dad left El Salvador when I was 6 years old and my sister was 2 years old. Even knowing that I was going to see my dad, my heart said “ nothing would be the same without the freedom that you have here”. The freedom I had in El Salvador was unique because I went to school from Monday through Friday, then in the afternoon I used to get together with my friends to play and finally at night I was at home with my family.

The day I left El Salvador was the saddest day of my life because I had to leave everything, to start again. I remember, in the morning I hugged my best friend. I cried and I turned to look around me, saying “ it’s not goodbye, it sees you later. At that moment I recognized that I was happy with only having my family, my friends, health, joy, and peace around me. I couldn’t imaged how my life would be without it. 

Afterward, I was migrating between Guatemala and Mexico. The day I left El Salvador, I arrived at the Guatemala border and I crossed Guatemala in two days. At that point, I was desperate to go back, but I knew I couldn’t. However, I spent 13 days in Mexico, and on the last day I crossed the “ Rio Bravo”. When we crossed the river, the Mexican migration almost caught us.

Finally, I arrived in Texas on August second. I was in a prison with other people. After a while, the immigration official moved me from the cell and he separated me from my mom and sister. As soon as that happened, he moved us to a migrant shelter and we waited until 8 pm for the bus that was going to transport us to Maryland. Definitely, I arrived in Maryland on August fourth and my dad picks us up from the bus station at 8 in the morning. That moment was the best one I ever had in my life.



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