My life begins here in Brownsville, Texas. However, I was only there from the beginning when I was a newborn before going back to Matamoros, Tamaulipas where my family had their own house. My mom wanted to have me in the U. S. because people had told her that there were far more opportunities over here. Technically, these two cities have become my two homes. I do miss Matamoros, Tamaulipas because that’s where I spend most of my childhood until I was seven years old. Then we had to return back to Texas because one of my younger sisters got very sick.
The first five years outside of Matamoros were miserable for me because I didn’t speak an ounce of English which left me feeling so different from everyone else. Moving to a new place for a foreigner is never easy because you leave behind friends, your house, relatives, and a bunch of other things. It’s depressing from a child perspective because at that age we are learning to trust and develop our personalities. Back home I was a very friendly type of person, but once I moved things started to change and I become less open. One of the main reasons why we came here was because my sister was diagnosed with diabetes type 1.
Which is a “chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. ” (Wagstaff &Claeson, 2004) If we had stayed my sister would have gotten worse. She was just a baby when we found out she had diabetes, and for some reason doctors in Matamoros weren’t able to treat her. Dr. Plotkin was the one that took care of her medical condition although at first she had refused thinking she was not a U. S. citizen. Anyway, thankfully as of today my sister is doing well she keeps her diabetes in control by injecting herself with insulin every day.
Most of my mom’s attention during those years when we first got here was expend learning about my sister’s diagnosis, and taking care of her plus my other sister who has autism. From what I can remember I felt lonely and it took me some time to adapt to this new lifestyle here in Brownsville, Texas. In school I was not the brightest student I failed second grade because my English was not good at all. On the other hand, mathematics was one of my strongest subjects because it was just numbers not words that I needed to understand.
Most of my other classmates at the time when I started going to school in Brownsville weren’t like me. Only a few spoke in Spanish, which is ironic since most of their surnames were in Spanish. “It is often assume that immigrants to the United States are forced to assimilate, and that they should learn English and shed their foreign culture to become American. ” (Johnson, 1997, p. 1278) Which would explain why so many kids in my class didn’t speak Spanish at all. So for the most part it was not fun going to school during the first few years that I moved because I felt like an outcast.
It was still a very profound experience because at that time they didn’t have that program that they have now for students that are in the English as a second language group, so I was trying to learn English without any translation of the same material into Spanish. If I had that in the start I would have learned more quickly maybe I am not sure. In my opinion, they should separate the new immigrants’ kids coming from Mexico, and put them in a class where they can get additional attention from their teachers instead of just leaving them to complete workbooks without having any idea of what they are doing.
In Europe for example I have heard from other people that they get to learn from a very young age to speak up to three languages, and that it’s a requirement at school. Which is nice I wish I could be able to learn another language other than just Spanish and English. I tried back in High School by taking some French courses, but I didn’t keep practicing and forgot most of it. It’s the same way in Spanish and English if one doesn’t keep practicing every day words that we once knew become foreign.
There are always new words to learn that is why we have to keep practicing by reading, communicating with other people, writing, translating, etc. I am lucky that my family speaks Spanish already, and at school I keep practicing my English. A lot of people up north only know one language, which is sad to hear every time they tell me this. Nowadays for me learning a new language is interesting and exciting at least I look at it like that. If I had more time I would probably keep practicing my French because one of my goals is to go to France for a while, and then go to Argentina or Brazil.
The physical geography of Brownsville, Texas didn’t affect me at all because Matamoros and Brownsville are close together, and they both have the same climate. It is a good thing that we didn’t move to a place that has a very cold climate because I have rheumatoid arthritis. If we had I would be suffering from it more than I already do. This is probably the best climate for me not too hot or cold throughout the seasons. We have the South Padre Island beach, which is one of the main attractions here. I have never gone there, but I plan to in the near future. It looks beautiful on google images.
In comparison to the beach in Matamoros called the Playa de Bagdad it looks cleaner. According to the Immigration Incorporation, and Sociocultural Translation article, “The first generation is not expected to be fully immersed in mainstream society and culture, there is an expectation, both in the academic literature and public policy, that the first generation sever its ties with the country of origin. ” (Itzigsohn & Saucedo, 2002, p. 771)
This refers to the people that migrated to the U. S. The second generation would be people like me which are born in U. S. This is true since my mom didn’t get an education in U. S. she sometimes suffers with the English language which would separate her, from what is mainstream in society. One of the problems she might encounter is people putting her into a certain category, or thinking she is not as smart just because of her accent, etc. The last thing about her severing her ties to the country of origin wouldn’t be true because she sometimes does go back when she needs things to do over there. However she doesn’t have plans of returning permanently to that place, so I guess that would probably count in a way.
Also recently she has stopped going because of the increase criminal activity, and the stories she has heard and saw in the news about people getting killed in Matamoros. As for me I haven’t gone to Matamoros for about six years due to the same thing, and I haven’t taken my passport out yet since it’s a little bit expensive. The only thing I have right now is my Texas ID, and SSN that I could use back then to cross the border now it is required to show passport. The high criminal activity in Matamoros has affected many people not just the ones wanting to go and visit the place, but the ones living in there too.
Most of my friends don’t want to go there anymore for fear of getting kidnap, so until someone finds a solution to this problem this will be going on. We are considered to be of a low socioecomic status in the U. S. My mom is a single mother, and the only two working are her and me right now. We do have trouble making ends meet. Which means we currently belong to the working poor socioeconomic level. Once I graduate and start working I would probably be of the “risen from poverty middle class”. Which basically means that people “have gained some resources. “They often become the “safety net” for others (their immediate family, friends, etc. ). ” (Rae Scheffer & Abdullah, 2014)
“Prior to the civil rights era, persons of Mexican origin in the American Southwest were routinely paid less for performing the same work as “Anglos” and block from entering certain occupations that were socially defined as reserved for non-Hispanic whites. ” (Massey & Gelatt, 2010) As of now I was reading in this article that the wages of current Mexican immigrants have stopped growing throughout the last few decades. Which is why many of them are in the same situation that we are.
Also it is widely known that females get paid less than men. It has been study that the phenotype is an important assimilation variable. “The fairer-skinned Latinos, for example, often find assimilation easier than other Latinos. ” (Johnson, 1997, p. 1283) In this case I am not one of the fairer skinned Latinos. From my experience it does tend to create a problem because a lot of times people do notice that you are different. At school I was one of the kids with one of the tannest skin tones because I used to love going outside in the sun never caring to wear sunscreen.
I remember once in class a teacher told us to get in line from the palest person to the darkest complexion. It was strange, but that’s how she gave us our sitting arrangement. Probably thinking that the ones in the class with the fairer-skinned complexion would do better. I guess I will never know. Another thing that I hate is people getting surprised when they learn that I am related to my sisters because they are pale while I am not. It’s silly and I feel awkward it’s like them thinking I am adopted or something. My mom and I look very alike they sometimes confuse us for sisters.
Also one of the other things that I have seen is that people compliment more my sisters by calling them beautiful just because they have a very pale skin tone. Which is rude especially if I am there it makes me feel ugly sometimes, but I have gotten over it throughout the years. Therefore for cultural adaptation I would say that I still don’t feel that much comfortable with this change because I tend to get self-conscious about myself. My English has progressed, and my writing skills too with the help of my English teachers throughout the years. I have come to love it and hate it sometimes.