My name is Julia. I was born in El Salvador. I grew up in the fields surrounded by mountains, trees, close to the river. It was a free place where the kids run in the street and play in the puddles of water during the winter. I started school when I was 4 years old because I told my mom that I need to go like my sisters. I remember that my backpack was pink, very small and had a Winnie Pooh.
One day when I came back from school my mom and my sister were not there. I was confused and when they came back my sister started to cry and she told me that I have to leave El Salvador because of the violence in my town and the insecurity. We were fearful of going to school every day because of the gangs.
I left a part of me because I had to say bye to my family, to my grandma’s house, to the mango trees, to my cow, and to the mountains that saw me grow up. I went back to my house to get my things and that morning was the last time that I put my feet on the river, that I walked in the field, the last time that I saw my neighbors. It was very hard to leave.
It’s not so easy to be here – everything is so different – the food, the culture, and the city landscape. Also in El Salvador, we had more recreation time at school, whereas here, not so much. But, I can do things here in the United States that I could not do there. When I was there, I always dreamed about studying and a career in medicine. Now that I am here, this dream can come true. I will continue to fight to learn and be the best that I can be and also show with actions that I, as an immigrant, am here to work hard and make a positive impact in my community.