Thursday, January 24, 2019

A New Home

Cristina Martinez in front of her restaurant South Philly Barbacoa
By Sylvia K.

Imagine you have everything you need and want. Then imagine you had all of that taken away from you because of where you live. Your country is full of criminals. You are not safe anywhere. You would be scared, wouldn't you? One day you come home and your parents tell you big news. That news would change your life.

Your parents tell you that you guys are moving. No big deal just a different house, right? But then your parents tell you that you guy are moving to a different country. New place, new food, new everything. You have to get used to it all.  On top of that people don't treat you as equals in your new country. It's because of where you're from. This is how it's like for immigrants.

This is Cristina Martinez. She owns the restaurant that sells the best barbacoa in the country. When people think of immigrants they think of terrorists or criminals based on what we've been hearing on the news and also since 9/11. But that's not the case with most immigrants like Cristina. She works to make people happy. She ran across the border so she could make money so that her daughter could go to school. In her country (Mexico) she faced cruelty just because she was a girl. She was forced into marriage and spent night and day making barbacoa for her abusive husband's family business where he took all the money she made for the family. She wanted to get away from it all. So she did.

She crossed the border so she could start over. Cristina got a job, made money, and got married again. She sent money to her daughter so she could go to school. But when Cristina tried to get her green card she couldn't so she needed help from her boss at work. Unfortunately, he refused to help her. She couldn't become a legal citizen because of the way she had crossed the border.

To me, Cristina is an amazing person to face all of the cruelty and injustice of her life. She handled everything really well and her restaurant is packed every day. So when hear negative immigrant stories on the news, don't just think about the bad ones, think of the brave success stories like Cristina Martinez.

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