My Immigration Story and Injustice Back in Peru
My name is Naiara, I’m seventeen years old and I was born in Lima, Peru. I came to America a year and a month ago when I was fifteen years old, and now I’m living and studying in New York. I like to learn new things, even though sometimes the information goes out of my brain, thus, I was excited about United States because I’ve heard there is good education and opportunities here. In school I like to listen to my teachers because I like learn in that way, but I’m not always in the mood to work, that’s why I take notes because my memory isn’t the best. I also enjoy my time out of school. There are different ways for me to enjoy my time, but one thing I like the most is taking walks. Usually, I pick a place, then I go to that place and then I just walk around so I won’t get lost. But in case I do, then I will use maps. Walking gives me a lot of time to think, and I believe that’s one thing I’m particularly good at. School helps me to improve my reasoning, and when there is something to discus I “overthink” to understand the background because I don’t like to see only the surface of the problem or whatever we are discussing. For that reason when time to go to college comes, I’ll be studying psychiatry or something where I can improve my reasoning and help people, or something that surely will make me think a lot. Through the pass of the years my reasoning has improved and I think the better way to improve your reasoning is feed your brain with different information. I’m not a book eater, either a person who reads a lot or all the time is studying, I’m curious. I like to read what people say in forums or watch videos in YouTube about different things like “The invention of blue”.
When I knew I’ll be moving to New York I had to think about my future again, and I still doing it. In Peru I lived with my mom in an apartment, which is part of the house we lived with my aunt, cousins and nephews, but they lived on the other side of the house. Here, in New York, I live in an apartment with my two aunts, one uncle, my grandma, and my mom. This change was not good at all. I was used to live only with my mom. Now we have roommates, sharing the same space with people I barely knew and no privacy at all. Above all, being more near to my family is good and I appreciate them because they have my back. But living with many people wasn’t the only thing I struggled, the most challenging thing was the language. For a person like me who its short answers are long and the long answer are essays, came to a new country and barely know how to communicate wasn’t easy, either pleasant. It was tough. I found myself several times struggling with my writing, speaking and my self-expression. Even though I just have no more than a year and one month here my Spanish has been affected. I noticed I pronounce some words with that funny “latina-gringa” accent and when I talk, I forget some words. These things make me feel happy and worried because I’m improving my english, but I don’t want to deteriorate my native language.
The reason why I immigrated is because of opportunities. It’s not a secret the U.S.A. offers a good education or more opportunities. Some people immigrate because they have been threatened back in their homeland, their country is in crisis, some do it for love, others to sustain their family, and the reasons keep going and going. My country is not the best one, there is too much injustice against women, children, the poor and the uneducated. Back in my country I remember witnessing injustice. There was an old lady selling things in the streets, and if you don’t have a license, that’s illegal. Suddenly a police truck came, they got off the truck and started taking the lady’s merchandise into the truck. Later in the news I saw that police were taking the vendor’s merchandise into a warehouse. The unfair thing for me was that in the process of taking the things into the truck, they destroyed her belongings. Many officers ate what the vendors were selling, and kept some things. I don’t even remember the authorities helped them to get a license or return the stuff. They just took their stuff the vendors used to make money with and forced them to look for new options to sustain themselves and their families.
Photos by Art DiNo,