La Vida en Mexico
My 7-year-old cousin wasn't able to sleep last night. She probably won't be able to sleep for the rest of the week. It's only been 5 years since my family and I first moved to the United States, and I have already forgotten what it's like to live like this every single day. I was upstairs in my grandparents' house with my dad when we first heard my Tata yelling. My dad quickly got up from watching a movie as soon as the screams began. The first thing that crossed my mind was to stay calm because my grandpa was just probably playing around with my uncle or my baby cousins - but then my uncle joined my grandpa's screams. I couldn't understand what they were trying to say... everything that happened is a blur anyways. I only remember rushing down the stairs after my uncle screamed, and seeing my little brother with my two baby cousins running to the bedroom downstairs like their life depended on it. Their tiny chubby faces now pale white were quickly heading to the closet like my uncle asked them to. My youngest cousin with teary eyes just whispered "escóndete!" to me, and I felt my heart drop to my stomach. I followed my grandpa's and uncle's voices, and I soon saw my dad with them outside in the front yard. My aunt, being 4 days away from her brother's wedding, went to pick her dress up from a local dry cleaner and left her house next to my grandparents' alone. As I was heading to the front yard I heard a foreign voice yelling and saying "We will be back for you guys" followed by profanities. All I saw was a white truck driving off.
My Tata heard strange noises outside my aunt's house. He was just sitting in the living room about to fall asleep like he usually does in the evenings when the faint clanging noises continued. A man who he'd never seen before was in my aunt's front yard destroying her door's lock with another one that meticulously examined the nice neighborhood. My grandpa without any hesitations called my uncle to see, but he just told him to call the police. Knowing the mediocre police officers in Mexico that sometimes end up being criminals themselves, Tata ignored him and soon started yelling "Get out you criminals!" "The police is coming!". My uncle screamed telling him to stop, since it'd be dangerous if they had guns with them. The two men, who had already broken into my aunt's house, quickly got into the white truck driven by the one who destroyed my aunt's door while yelling profanities. My grandpa can still hear "Vamos a regresar por ustedes!" in his head.
That day, my aunt came home crying. That day, we did not leave the house. That day, my grandpa wouldn't stop looking out the window wondering maybe this time, when they came back, he would be able to do something other than yell at them. Luckily, They didn't have time to steal or do anything to us. Luckily, my grandpa was able to stop them in time.
But That day, my cousin wasn't able to sleep thinking they would be back for her and her mom. My cousin is barely 7 years old, and she's already afraid of the world. Seven years old and she’s looking already looking out for her family’s safety. Seven years old, and she’s already carrying the concerns that not even a normal seventeen year old carries.
It’s true that Mexicans want a better future for their families and future generations, just like anyone does. Mexico has become more dangerous over the past decades, and the population, looking for safety, opportunities and security, started to migrate to the United States. Now, The United States, a country that’s drowning in opportunities, has closed its doors to families and people, who are willing to work hard, diligently and go through anything just to have a stable and secure life.
With the constant kidnapping, robberies, homicides and extortions in Mexico, families struggle to find peace and tranquility in their everyday lives. People learn to live with the concern of leaving their houses, or their cars in the streets alone along with the paranoia of trusting anyone. It’s not the first time someone has tried to break into my family’s house, yet they’re still part of the lucky ones that thankfully haven’t faced any dangerous situations other than robberies. People all around them have gone through so much, making them value even more what they have today.
Living in The United States is a privilege that many do not value, and living with the security, stability and commodity The United States offers is something many would die to have. With the current immigration policies, all that we can possibly do is be grateful of not having the concerns my 7-year-old cousin has, and take advantage of every opportunity that many would do the impossible to have.