DACALatinoMexicoOHSUndocumentedWhat We Carried

What Miguel Carried, Orizaba, Mexico

Jim Lommasson
Jim Lommasson / What We Carried

Luz Rowley:

Growing up in Mexico, I always knew that I needed an education in order to have a better future for myself. But my parents believed that women needed to learn how to cook and how to take care of the house (that was the future that they wanted for me and my sisters). However, I always wanted to be independent and self-sufficient. It was difficult but every step showed me that I was going in the right direction, and opened up my mind and expanded my opportunities.

Everything felt so surreal on my graduation day!! Finally I had my diploma and credentials and I was able to apply to different institutions to work as a nurse, and I felt as if it was a dream… but no!! It was finally a reality. I felt very proud and I believed in myself more than ever that I was capable of reaching my dreams and goals!

Miguel Rodriguez:

+All of this starts with her, and I don’t say this enough, but I love you mom. — Miguel.

(As we have reflected about countless times: love through actions, not words.)

+My mother brought my sister and I to the US when I was turning four. The goal was to get medical attention for my sister at Shrinor’s hospital in LA; originally we were going to stay for a year, but the intake consultation and hopes for a better future for her children changed our plans.

+For the next 21 years we moved around, dealt with uncertainty, and tacked life as undocumented individuals. As a result, I never knew if I was going to succeed. My future wasn’t guaranteed. I felt defeated as high school graduation approached; I couldn’t even do a lot of things that my peers took for granted. Even more, we always had to be careful who we trusted, and its taken years of processing trauma and intense caution, for me to share my story and feel empowered at the same time.

+At some point, because of some unfortunate circumstances, my mother and I became permanent residents. I now hold this privilege, and I have been actively utilizing to help and empower others. We live in a world full of pain, and horror, and chaos– but we need to fight against this cynicism– we all deserve to be loved and have our basic needs met, regardless of our identities and backgrounds.

>>>With that being said, I can never thank my mother enough, She has always been my strongest confidant, loudest cheerleader, and solid support system. All of the things that I do are a direct result of her love, warmth, passion, tenacity, and perspective. She taught me how to advocate for myself and others, and I want to make the world a better place for her and those whose voices have been silenced because of colonialism, imperialism, racism, and patriarchy. People shouldn’t have to go through the bullshit we’ve had to endure, and liberation of all people is required.