Coming to America

By: Alexandro Calmo Pablo

Hello  this is Alex with YR Media and I am interviewing my mother Rosa Calmo about her coming to America from Guatemala. She will be talking about the living conditions in Guatemala back then and her thought process about leaving. She also recounts her first experiences in America and how she managed to settle in. Coming from a place of extreme poverty to a place where she did not have to worry much about food, water and money was a trying journey for her, but ultimately worth it because of all the opportunities presented to her.

This interview has been translated from Spanish to English and edited for clarity and length 

Alex: Why did you decide to come to the United States?

Rosa: I wanted to make a better life and it’s  a nice place to work in. It is very nice to live here in the United States.  My favorite thing  is the food. I like to eat the food here in the United States. It’s  different than in my country. I like to go to the beach, I like to see the water. I like walking in the park. I like to go to the fair when there is a fair.  

Alex: Where were you born in Guatemala? In which part of Guatemala?

Rosa: I was born in Todos Santos Cuchumatán Huehuetenango; it’s the municipality in Guatemala  

Alex: And what were your first thoughts when you arrived in the United States?

Rosa:My first thought was to work hard  and to be able to provide for my family, especially my parents , and to be able to  give the best for my son. It is like a responsibility to take care of them.

Alex: With that responsibility when you were crossing the desert to migrate over to the United States while carrying me in your stomach, what was your reason to keep going and not stop? Did you think it was your responsibility to arrive?

Rosa: It was more for a better life when I was crossing the desert. I didn’t want to return back to my country because I was pregnant with my son. I didn’t want you to be born in Guatemala, because here it’s better than the country I was born into. It’s a very nice place to learn and here, there’s a lot of opportunities for learning, a lot of things. Thanks to God I didn’t return to my country and I managed to reach the United States without failure.

Alex: So when you arrived, what surprised you most about the United States?

Rosa: It was a very nice place. The Americans were very friendly, they were calm people and it was a really beautiful sight in the United States of America.

Alex: When you arrived in the United states, which state did you decide to settle at?

Rosa:The state of Florida

Alex: And what part of Florida did you go to?

Rosa:Naples, Florida

Alex: And when you arrived in Naples, was like what you thought it was going to be like ? And was Florida first choice?

Rosa: I wanted to go to Washington, but then I decided to go to Florida because Florida is a very beautiful place and it is not cold. I like the climate in Florida and for this reason I decided to settle there.

Alex: How did you cross the desert was it with other people? Did you have a group that you went with that supported you?

Rosa: I crossed with a lot of people, about 70 people who crossed the desert with me. I could no longer walk. I was very tired because there was no food or water. I was exhausted and because I was already 4 months pregnant and could no longer stand, I was tired. However, thanks to my companions, those who walked with me in the desert helped me. They assisted me, thanks to them, they helped me cross the desert, that’s why I got to the United States.

Alex: If you could give advice to someone who recently crossed the boarder into America, what would it be?

Rosa: Well, there are a lot of people who have just arrived in the United States and there are people who are crossing the desert now. We just have to keep going to fight for those who are just arriving. Here in the United States, you just have to get ahead and ask God to help you find a job to help your family, your parents, your children. You don’t know where you can find a job or how to get ahead, but if you are here, there is a lot of opportunity to achieve what you want and to help the family from here. It is very nice to live here in the United States.

Alex:That is all I have I just want to thank you for letting me interview you and I hope you enjoyed this interview.