Hi, My Name Is Alicia
by Alicia F.
I am the youngest in my family. We are six brothers and two sisters. I come from a small farm in the South of Mexico. It is in the State of Hidalgo. The farm is called Los Reyes Tepezala, and it has about 400 residents. Most of them left the farm and are living in some part of the U.S. There are old people, ladies, and kids in Mexico, and husbands and fathers in the U.S.
In the farm, we have plenty of different kinds of fruits and veggies like corn, pumpkins, beans, peaches and apples. Years ago, everybody was Catholic, but now people have many different religions. Everybody speaks Spanish, but Mexicans visiting from the South may mix in some Naquatl or Otomi words. Food is traditional Mexican like rice, carnitas, and barbacoa with mole rojo. We make tortillas every day by hand.
One of our traditions is celebrating Jesus’ birthday on January 6th. About 5,000 visitors come every year to celebrate with us. We have music, singing, and a parade carrying Jesus’ statue with people in traditional costumes. It is very beautiful.
On the farm, we have pre-k through 6th grade. We don’t have a library or a cafeteria. There are 3 teachers for the 6 grades. Middle school is in the town and you have to walk to it. When I did my year in middle school, I walked to it. I walked every day, morning and afternoon, but now it is better. Now we have a bus.
My life wasn’t perfect on the farm, and I had very difficult moments, but at the same time, it was safe and we could run and scream and everybody was the same culture. Every morning, it smelled good and fresh and clean.
I love Mexico, but my goal is to learn good English. English has changed my life. My family wonders why I work so hard learning it. I tell them that is the best way for me to have a better life in the U.S. I can talk with my son’s teachers and counselors without translators. I can have better business with my customers since they like to talk to me and understand me. I can make appointments with doctors for myself and family and understand what the doctors say. So, you see? That is why I work so hard.