Aida from El Salvador

June 21, 2017

Voices That Matter Most

Crossing Into A New Life

My name is Aida, i’m 15 years old, and I’m from El Salvador. I came to the U.S. when I was 13 years old.  El Salvador is very dangerous to live because of gangs. Near where I live there was a lot gangs where they killed many people. Also in El Salvador it is not safe the gangs have marked territory. In the nights there are dark and lonely places with people smoking, drinking or just passing the time. Many times people were afraid to go through those places. In El Salvador our lives are not secure.

It was difficult for me to get accustomed in new country, with a new language and a new culture. It was hard because I knew nothing about this country, everything was new for me.

The first thing that was weird for me was that in this country they have a great respect for traffic signals. Also, something that is really important and necessary to use is use is the safety belt. The first time I didn’t know that we had to use it, because in El Salvador wasn’t important and almost no one respect the traffic signals.

There was a new language and sometimes when people were talking to me I was just quiet and thoughtful. In my mind I was saying “What are they saying?”  that was one of that hardest thing at the beginning thought to return to El Salvador because I didn’t like the United States sometimes I was scared. Sometimes I was missing my family or sometimes i just thought i wouldn’t learn English.

In El Salvador our lives are not secure.

The my first day of school was the worst day ever. I didn’t understand what the teachers were saying. I felt weird because I didn’t have any friends, and I didn’t know anybody. The first day I thought that all my new classmates spoke English, and I was afraid to talk with them, but in one way I was happy because my new teacher spoke Spanish. Then when the bells rang to go to lunch, everyone was making a line and I was like “Where are we going.” Then, the cafeteria was so big for me and I was like, “This is like movie.” In my country, the cafeteria is outside and we pay for food. The first time I didn’t like the food and my family was saying, “American food is not good” and that was true because I didn’t like it. Then at the end of the day was the bus and I didn’t know what bus I had to take. At the end of the bus call, I went to the main office to call my mom to pick me up because I didn’t take any bus.

Then I was practicing and working really hard to learn more English. At the half of the year the school moved me to another more advanced class. In one way, it was good for me because it was a better and more advanced class to learn English. However, the worst part was that I would have new classmates again. After that, I did make new friends and I learned more English. My friends also help me a lot to learn more because in my old class I just spoke Spanish with my classmates, but in the other classes I did have some friends that couldn’t speak Spanish so I practiced my English with them. I also had teachers that made us speak English even though it was hard for me I gave the best of me. And that was how I learned more English now I know a little bit more than that year. 8th grade was better because I did my best to learn. Then at the promotion of 8th grade I got 3 diplomas of the 3 best students in those 3 classes.