Photo by Jonas Rodriguez.
LA River School

Immigration & moving forward

“Aprecio las cosas que la vida me da porque las cosas van y vienen y algunas veces no vuelven.” —“I appreciate the things that life gives because things come and go and sometimes they don’t come back,” said a woman from the slums of El Progresso Mocorito, Sinaloa, Mexico who had to wait 17 years for a response from the immigration lawyers.

A 17 year wait that has finally paid off — Eria Rodriguez and her oldest son Jonathan got their residence cards through all her struggle. Now, Eria has defied all odds that were against her. She has been in the United States, Cypress Park area, for 21 years. Her life is presently calm. Eria Rodriguez sacrificed, struggled and changed knowing that her trek would not be anything easy.

At the age of 18, Eria married her husband Josue, who was 19. By the age of 25, Eria knows that she has to move to a whole different country. She realizes that things must be done, get a new life and change the way she lived. A new life style was what she desired the most because of her growing family at the time.

Twenty-one years have passed and Eria is a proud homeowner in Los Angeles. She knows that she has accomplished her American Dream. To her, the American dream was to be happy and at peace with her family and her four sons Jonathan, Josue, Jonas and Justin.

“Yo nomas quiero convivir con mis familiares,” she said — I just want to be able to live in peace with my family.

Even though Eria has been in the U.S. for half her life, she still feels like something is holding her back.

Bueno, es difícil para mí decir que soy libre porque aún estoy separada de mis familiares,” she said. — Well, it’s hard for me to say that I’m free because I’m still separated from my family members.

Leaving her brothers and sisters behind along with her grandmother was one of the hardest things she had to do. Especially knowing that she will face obstacles like language and looking for a job. Many things worried her, but her son, Jonas Rodriguez, acknowledges her accomplishments.

“I’m so proud of my mom. When I was small, I noticed my mom would be upset because she knew she couldn’t help me with English homework, I knew it sucked to not be able to help me when I needed her, just because she didn’t speak English but now I love the fact that I can talk to her in English and have better communication with her,” he said.

Eria is a strong, overcoming woman and she doesn’t regret coming to the United States because when she crossed the border she already had her life planned, not just for herself but for her whole family. She had her life in the palm of her hand, she knew how it would smell, she knew how it would feel. She had faith.