Family separation is difficult
By Jose Rodriguez
When Ana Rosa Lopez Valencia was young in Michoacan, Buenavista, she would enjoy going out without having worry on her mind. Nowadays, she always goes out with the fear that she could be assaulted.
“Ahorita uno sale con el temor que puede se asaltado,” Ms. Lopez said. (Now one goes out with the fear that they may be assaulted.)
I did not know this was the reality for Ms. Lopez, who is my mother, when she goes out. During a break in February, I got the opportunity to interview my parents and other relatives on the reality of living in Mexico. These are my findings on what life is really like in Mexico.
Marco Antonio Rodriguez Magaña, who is my father, has a strong relationship with his family. He is a father of three, including me, and is married to Ms. Lopez.
“La familia para mi es primero. La familia unida se puede llegar a donde quiere llegar,” Mr. Rodriguez said. (Family for me is first. The united family can get to where they want to go.)
As one of his children born and raised in the United States, I am separated from Mr. Rodriguez, who went back to Mexico two years ago (Ms. Lopez returned to Mexico shortly after). Mr. Rodriguez feels that it is intense having children away from him.
“Para mi es bastante fuerte porque mis hijos se quedaron allá, tengo tres hijos y se me quedaron allá. Me duele bastante y lo siento muchísimo porque no puedo ver los,” Mr. Rodriguez said. (For me it’s pretty strong because my children stayed there. I have three kids and they stayed there. It hurts a lot and I’m sorry because I can’t see them.)
Even with the distance, Ms. Lopez maintains special bonds and high standards for her kids, who currently live with their siblings in the United States.
“La familia es lo número uno, lo más importante. Debemos educarlos al cien por ciento en todos los aspectos para que sean buenos elementos sociales,” Ms. Lopez said. (Family is number one, the most important thing. We have to educate them to 100% in every aspect to make them good social elements.)
She faces the day-to-day emotional turmoil of her separation with kids.
“Para mi es muy duro y doloroso saber que ellos están lejos de mi de su papa tambien pero la verdad están en un país mucho mejor donde hay más desarrollo,” Ms. Lopez said. (For me it is very hard and painful to know that they are away from me, from their dad as well, but the truth is in a much better country where there is more development.)
For my grandma Caritina Magana Loya, having family in the United States is an ongoing battle because of the distance.
“Te imaginas tan lejos, tan lejos de mi. La distancia y pues gracias a dios ya e podido verlos pero seria mas de 20 años que no podía ir pero gracias a dios,” Ms. Loya said. (You imagine so far, so far from me. The distance and thank God I could already see them but it would be more than 20 years that I could not go but thank God.)
Living away from my parents has been extremely difficult. Not being able to see them every day, except through Facetime, has taken a toll on me. However, I have managed to stick through it. I’m glad I had the chance to see them and got to learn more about how life is in Mexico.
My family is from Mexico, a country known for its crime and its violence. There are murders, drug trafficking and corruption.
My aunt Silvia Rodriguez Magaña deals with the violence surrounding the community.
“Es muy bonita la comunidad y el pueblo pero ahorita con tanto crimen organizado que han querido tomar la población pues se a perdido todo eso de la tranquilidad, de la paz,” Ms. Magaña said. (It is very nice the community and the town but right now with how much organized crime that they have wanted this to take the population because it has lost all that tranquility, of the peace.)
Ms. Lopez also agrees that Mexico can be a dangerous place.
“Ahorita por donde quiera hay much criminalidad y si sale la gente a pasearse y disfrutar y todo pero no como lo hacías hace 20 años o 30 que podía ir y venir y todo estaba bien,” said Ms. Lopez. (Now, wherever there is a lot of crime and yes people go out and enjoy and everything but not as you did 20 years or 30 that could come and go and everything was fine.)
Despite the dangerous parts of living Mexico, Mr. Rodriguez still proudly claims the country to be a beautiful place.
“Nuestro país es muy hermoso, tiene lugares preciosos donde pasearte, muchos mejores que en otros países,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “En realidad México es riquísimo en su cultura en todo lo que se da aquí es muy bonito.” (Our country is very beautiful, it has many beautiful places to go out, much better than other countries. Mexico is very rich in culture and everything that is given here is nice.)