Judy Melgarejo

 

My grandfather traveled for days hidden in the back of a semi truck often having to drink his own urine to prevent dehydration.

My grandfather Lorenzo came to the Lafayette, Indiana from a small town in Mexico in search of a better life in 1970. He traveled for days hidden in the back of a semi truck often having to drink his own urine to prevent dehydration. He paid a man $400 to secure him a job as a busboy at a restaurant.

16252146_402249023500521_5633811077038543811_o

My grandmother posed a nurse and was able to obtain a work visa to fly over to the U.S. with a 1-year-old and leaving behind 5 children. A year later, my mother was the first child to be born in the U.S – what a great OPPORTUNITY, right? Not so much. The man who once helped my grandfather secure a job had him and his family deported back to Mexico. My mom who was born in the U.S. eventually helped the family and out from under the rubble of deportation was the opportunity. My mom was able to “sponsor” the family to legally enter the U.S.

I come from a resilient and brave family, so my grandfather and his family made the journey to the land of opportunity once again – this time to Chicago to work in a steel mill. He and my grandmother purchased a 4-unit building on Chicago’s far South Side and little by little all 12 kids made the permanent move to the U.S.

They have all made their own lives. They’ve built their own families and many successful businesses. They have all gone on to have successful and educated children, like myself. I recently received my Master’s degree in Counseling and I owe it to the sacrifices that my grandfather made for our family.

My grandfather and grandmother moved from their comfort zone to an unknown land with an unknown language because they wanted a better life for us. Their sacrifice is worth it. It has to be. My story is so many people’s story. This country is a country of immigrants. THIS IS EVERYONE’S HOME!

Advertisements