My name is Edwin Jerez Gonzalez, and I was born on September 8, 1998 in Guatemala. The most important thing for me was to reach the United States - it was a dream and came true. I realized at that moment that I crossed the border was a moment of joy and great happiness and it was the best step I ever took in my life. That was very happy when I told my family that I was already in the United States in only three weeks.
My name is Elmer Alexander Guillén, and I am from El Salvador. For me, it is important to be happy and be with my family and friends. One important moment in my life was when I met my parents earlier this year. I had lived in El Salvador now whole life, but now I live with my parents in Red Hook, Brooklyn..
May 31, 2016
“I can’t miss it,”
Enrique says to himself.
How can he escape?
Migrants agents are standing nearby.
Sees an old bicycle, he climbs on top.
Jumps and the soles of his feet smack onto the ground.
Before La Migra notice.
Enrique runs back toward the cemetery
To hide until ten am
On this day, March 26, 2000.
Enrique grabs one of its ladder,
Summons his strength and pulls himself up.
He is aboard.
“I went to school in Moncada,Tarlac in the Philippines. Usually we start to learn English in elementary school so it was considered our second language, it was easy to adapt to it. We watched movies in English so that we can learn to catch on faster. But Tagalog was what we spoke primarily everyday, but having the skill to read and speak English was very useful.
Here is a found poem I wrote in response to Minerva Mirabal's death in the novel "In the Time of the Butterflies" by Julia Alvarez.
All the radio stations
transmitting the tragedy all day
They killed all three of my sisters
and their driver
People talking about what was going on
but they don’t do anything
to stop the violation and killing of people
My Mariposa sisters
My Mirabal sisters
I couldn’t believe this was happening
I saw my sister lying down
Here is a powtoon Bairon Arriola and I animated using a found poem we wrote in ESL class:
I didn’t know about this senor
Yo no sabía sobre este señor
He gives me five pesos, I examined in amazement
Él me da cinco pesos, examino con asombro
“Take for Mami the yellow and black cake.”
"Tomemos por Mami el pastel amarillo y negro."
She grabbed my shoulder
Ella me agarró del hombro
Then Mami asked how did you get all of this?
¿cómo conseguiste todo esto?
This poem was written in response to "In the Time of the Butterflies" by Julia Alvarez. In this scene, one of the Mirabal sisters is going to sleepaway school and meets a girl named Sinita.
Go away to sleepaway school
Papa thought it over,
he said all three of us would go.
Trunkful of new things
from a small cage into a bigger one
Sinita in the parlor
all by herself, a skinny girl,
pokey elbows to match
mourning clothes, but only 12
Where was this girl’s mother,
Looked as if she would pick a fight if you asked her
I am Edgar Nicolas Parada...
Edgar for my uncle from El Salvador
he call me Edgarcito, I speak with him sometimes on skype
And Nicolas for my father, who raised me in place of my mother
In El Salvador Everyone call me “Nicolas” or “Nico.”
My aunts or other family calls me “Edgardo,” I don’t know why!
My father and mother call me “Nicolasito” but i don’t like it, because I’m not a baby and I don’t like when my father calls me “Don Colacho.”
Chino: Yeah man, I go to public college, nothing big and fancy –
Bodega: Check it out, you evah heard of Edwin Nazario?
Chino: You mean the boxer?
Bodega: Nah, same name, no relation. He’s my lawyer.
Chino: I don’t like lawyers, they’re prostitutes in suits.
Bodega: He’s amazin’. He knows the law inside out, like a reversible coat. With Nazario, I intend to own this neighborhood and turn El Barrio into my sandbox. Nazario and I know that we live in the most privileged time since Prohibition.
I am Cserfalvi Beatrix Ildikó
Cserfalvi from my dad from Hungary
Who still beside me today.
Beatrix for nobody it's a random name
from my parents for me
And Ildikó for my godmother who's not named with Ildikó
it came for me from my christening
But to my friends I am Bea and to my family the same.
Some of my kolega prefers only B (bee) because they can't produced Beatrix.
And to some boy who's saw me anywhere, well they think I am that girl from the first contact.
And those who don't know me, "Hey girl."
But the truth is I am a brave, lonely big girl with some dream.
One of the summer morning when I woke up, like always I made coffee. The sun was up already and was shiny like a diamond and that light came into my eyes. I finished making the coffee and I thought that day going to be a same boring day but not. Marsha just woke up probably she smelled the coffee that’s why.
My friend and I got together on Cleveland street close to my house. I saw her standing on the street. She was next to a black fence and a little white house. The sky was blue and she smiled in the sun, but it was a cold January day.
My sister-in-law said, “Hello” and I replied, “How are you, Erika?”
“How’s my big brother Miguel doing?” she asked. Erika was fifteen , and my boyfriend Miguel eighteen, Three years older than me. I was about to have my quinceanera.
I saw my sister-in-law’s beautiful black hair and asked her, “Where did you get your hair done?”
I’m Ronald Leonardo…
Ronald because my father was a big fan of Ronald Reagan
And Leonardo from my father, Pedro Leonardo Romero...
He is around 70 years old but he appears only 40 or 50.
My mom called me Rona,
Because she is from the countryside
and my father called me Don,
Because I am lazy and Don is like lazy in Spanish.
And all my friend in D.R. call me Rapo because…
I don't wanna talking about that in the school.
My friends around my house and on V.G. Live
Called me CRAAZYY because I do so many crazy things,
like mountain biking on the street.
The most important event of my life was to see my mom after many years of separation., that's the most important event for me so far.
In this important time, I had to deal with many difficulties, difficult things like distance and family problems. In spite of all this, things were fine though separated but well waiting for the day of the reunion. Spent seven years separation ed from my family were sad years for me, but I hid my sadness from the people.
It was a Wednesday morning, and like normal. I had risen early to go to school. I came out of my room and saw my grandmother sitting in her favorite chair. She said in a low voice, "Can you bring me a glass water please?"
I went with the water, after a few minutes. I hear coughing. I went to her, asking her if she was OK when I suddenly noticed that she was coughing up blood. I quickly called my uncle who had been staying with us.
Juan came into the room and looked at my grandmother. He said, “Go to your aunt’s house. Tell her to meet us at the hospital.”
I walked to the health class and there was too much playing and talked. I saw many students do health homework in the class. Health teacher sit in the chair and cheek students homework. I walked to back health class. because that time not in class.
“Hi, I miss you,” When I first entered the door, My good friend said to me.
“Hi, I miss you too,” I am happy said to my good friend.
In the healthy class, We talk about health homework and classwork. we watched some about health video in class. The teacher check students homework in the class.
Since 2010,Pakistani government has banned the kite festival,which was called in Urdu, “Basant”. Every year Basant would be in March when every student had their exams. This, I hated the most. Two days before Basant, while I was in tutoring sessions studying for my exams, my cousin came to pick me up from the tutoring and said he had a surprise for me. I knew that I about get my bicycle, which I been asking my uncle to get me for months. My uncle had been telling me when I get higher grades in exams he would buy me one.
Chino Yeah man, I go to public college, nothing big and fancy –
Bodega Check it out, you evah heard of Edwin Nazario?
Chino You mean the boxer?
Bodega Nah, same name, no relation. He’s my lawyer.
Chino I don’t like lawyers, they’re prostitutes in suits.
Bodega He’s amazin’. He knows the law inside out, like a reversible coat. With Nazario, I intend to own this neighborhood and turn El Barrio into my sandbox. Nazario and I know that we live in the most privileged time since Prohibition.