I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

Their fight is my fight too

By Aseret  |   From : Guatemala  |   School : Boston Leadership Community Academy

I thought that my mother didn’t love me and that was why she left. When I was a kid I could not understand why my mom wasn’t with me. It was sad that she wasn’t with me on my birthday or Christmas. I remember crying next to the window waiting for my mom and my dad to come back.

My name is Aseret Laparra. I am a proud immigrant from Guatemala. I moved to the U.S. two years ago to see my mom for the “first time” after twelve years. I am from a country where the are no jobs. My mom was a single mother. She had the responsibility to give food to two kids, but she couldn’t. So my mom decided to move to the U.S. to leave her son and daughter and live as an undocumented immigrant.

I lived with my grandparents. My grandfather had cancer and my grandmother decided to take care of him at home. It was hard for me to see the only man I can call father dying in my house. Then he had a stroke and he forgot almost everything. He couldn’t stand up or walk, he could say just some worlds like food, water, mom. Sometimes we woke up at night crying and asking for his mom, and I had the responsibility to go and tell him “Your mom is dead.” I was seven years-old and it was heartbreaking every time I told my grandfather that he wasn’t a kid anymore and that his mom was dead. His eyes were always full of tears and he used to cry for his mom. It wasn’t easy to explain who I was to him. He forgot me and every time I had to introduce myself, over and over again. My grandfather was this big man; he was a teacher, he was strong, he was kind, he had a lot of friends, everyone knew him and to see him dying in his bed was destroying me.

After his death, my family was composed of my grandma, my brother and me. Four years later, it was just my brother and me. My grandmother died of a heart attack. It was just my grandmother and me home that day. I went to the kitchen and I saw her on the floor. The first thing I did was call my aunt a tell her what was happening. My grandmother died that night in the hospital. The night of the burial I didn’t sleep, I was crying and blaming myself for her death. I though thought that it was my fault because I called my aunt instead of the 911. And that I could save her, but I didn’t.  I lived alone. No mother, no father, no nothing. It was hard because I was a teenager and I didn’t have anyone to tell my problems. I kept all of my pain inside, hurting myself from the pain on the inside. I cried many times in my room and my brother never went to see if I was ok. My aunt was “in charge” of us, but she only gave us the money for the food and the money to pay the woman who was cleaning the house.  But she was never there for us in a emotional way. She never asked if we were ok, if we needed something, she was there, but she wasn’t at the same time.

After four years my mom called me one day and said, “You are moving to the U.S.” After all the pain, all the nights I cried and blamed myself for my grandmother’s death, my mother wanted me to move here. I could not believe it. I had my friends in Guatemala, they helped me a lot to overcome my sadness and to understand that things happen for a reason. I was studying too and doing my best in school. I was going to church and making friends. And all my memories were there, all the moments I passed with my grandparents and my brother.

At first I didn’t want to move to the U.S, I thought  that I was free in Guatemala, but I was not, I was just a teenager without supervision and that is so different.  Moving to the U.S. was a big challenge. I was not an undocumented immigrant, but still an immigrant. New language, new people, etc….were a challenge for me. My first month in school was difficult for me.  Learning English wasn’t easy but I get it at the end. Make friends was more difficult, I dont have the same culture as many Latinos in my school, and there was not many Guatemalans in school last year.  But I found a little girl with a big heart and a strong mind named Iris. She is like my little big sister now. She introduced me into SIM, the Student Immigrant Movement, and I learned that I wanted to defend people like me. People with challenges and stories to tell. I’m a resident of the United States, and that gives me an advantage to defend my people. I am here telling my story to defend my friends and family who are undocumented. To inspire people to be proud of where they are from and to stop being afraid to say they are an immigrant. Because I can do it, I’m going to fight for them.  Their fight is my fight too.

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