Hollywood High School

My life in America

When I was young, I’d hear a voice blaring out the words to a pledge that was happily said in unison, like a orchestra playing at the Hollywood Bowl. The pledge itself seemed like a spell that had gotten everyone. Once it was over, the spell was broken.

Being too young, I wasn’t able to fully comprehend what I had just said, however I wasn’t too young to join.

What I looked forward to, besides recess, was going home to my family. Whenever I was home, I’d speak the language of my family, completely different than the one I was spoke at school. Coloring inside the lines was my passion as I saw my mother cook. Just like any other day, there would be always something to talk about. As I rambled on and on about all the fun I had playing hop scotch, my mother was yawning and mentioning that she was tired.  As evening came around, my father had come home. With aching, chafed hands and dirty clothes, he would greet us all, followed by complaints about aches and pains.

Through the years, there would be countless talks about how the “bad” people taking over the country  would need to go back wherever they came from. Flashes of panic had always crossed our eyes as we saw and heard about events like roundups. When it came time to comfort my siblings after hearing fear in their voice, I could only help in just calming their fears. It wasn’t much the help. All I was able to say was that these discussions  had been going on for quite some time. All I was hoping for was that these events could only stay on my TV screen, to not really happen right outside me and other people’s homes. As 2018 came along, my family had gulped after being notified that Temporary Protection Status or TPS was given it’s last 18 month renewal as the protection status for citizens of El Salvador would be terminated in September 2019.

In 2001, El Salvador was hit with two earthquakes that hit a month apart. Seeing the damage the natural disaster caused, TPS had opened it’s doors to Salvadorians. With this status, Salvadorians were given temporary lawful status, and work permits to be able to work in the U.S for 18 months. TPS was renewed countless of times. However under the Trump Administration, Salvadorians were considered ineligible for TPS after claiming that the country had fully recovered from the earthquakes that happened 17 years ago. Sadly, what isn’t realized are other dangers that lie ahead. Within the country, there is violence that has left arts of El Salvador ranked as most dangerous cities on earth. With this being said, I can only imagine how hard it would be on Salvadorian parents when it comes down to deciding what’s best for their children who were born in the U.S. It also will have damages on economy because these status holders contributed with their share of taxes since they had social security. To hear this from a country that claims to care for its people, it breaks my heart.

People Of Color already go through every as it is. From assuming race based on appearance, to the language we speak as individuals, it shuns people from being who they are and having pride for their roots. I was born and raised in this country but yet I’ve never felt welcomed to be here. All I am is just a “Mexican” because I speak Spanish when in reality my roots take me back to Central America. All I am is a brown skin girl who’s goal is to “steal jobs ” and “advantage of the U.S” just like my parents. I mean it runs in my “Hispanic” blood right?  I should also consider the fact since I live in the U.S I should forget my first language and switch to English because that’s what “Americans” speak, not Spanish. We always hear analogies like America is a melting pot. In all honesty, it’s like leaving all your morals and values and culture behind just to melt into a society that is expected to follow and act the same. Instead, we should embrace everyone’s culture. A salad bowl.