Omar Hernandez Oaxaca Mexico
Interviewed by Priscilla Hernandez
"I was embarrassed I couldnt even say your welcome"
I was embarrassed that I couldn’t even say your welcome. As the customer said thank you nothing popped out of my mouth but to say “de nankyou”.i felt as if I was an alien on this earth. This country wasn’t my home, until I realized this was a new beginning.
I was born in Oaxaca Mexico. Before I came to the u.s. I went to school and helped my grandma with the store we owned. I lived with my grandma and other cousins and how can I forget my uncle. At that time was going to school and had a lot of friends. In school I remember I would get into fights with my friends for the girls. As I finished high school I was curious were life would lead me. I didn’t know the U.S. would be one of my options.
After I finished high school was very curious of coming to America. I didn’t go to college and I heard about the opportunity in America so that really had my interest. I had already missed my first semester of college because I didn’t decide quickly enough what I was going to do with my life, which lead to just one option coming to America. Seeing all the opportunities he united sates had, I was ready to take the adventure of my life.
Crossing the border is an image that stays in your head very clearly. I knew the risk I was taking to cross the border illegally. This made me very nervous when I finally made my mind up I knew I had to cross it as safe as possible. The only people who knew how to get past this risky adventure are called “coyotes”. Five hundred dollars I paid this stranger I had barley met for five minutes. My life was in his hands. He gave me directions to meet him by the border around the river at four am. I did what I was told and met him.The next thing I heard was “a correr!” which means “run”. My heart raced and my mind thought here is the beginning of a new life.
The day I arrived in the United States I was surprised things weren’t perfect like in the movies. I was expecting something so different. The very first day I looked for a job I was hired at a bakery to wash pots and pans…which I loved to do! Ha-ha…but I said a job is a job. My mind was really concentrated on one thing going back. As time past I learned how this country brought me my family and my job. I learned that sometimes you have to leave the things you have in the past to have a better future.