← Back to all stories


Lynn Classical High School, Lynn, Massachusetts

My story begins when I was born on March 11th, 2006 in Guatemala.
I lived with my brother Ricardo and my mother Beatriz. We lived in Guatemala City. Not long after my birth, my mother decided to immigrate to the United States to look for a better future for us, leaving us in the care of my aunt and her daughters and sons. My mother returned a few months later to be able to celebrate my 1st birthday. After my birthday, my mother decided to emigrate to the United States, leaving me and my brother with my aunt and cousins once again.

When I was 1, I accidentally suffered a burn on several parts of my body.
I was in the hospital in intensive care for a long time. My aunt, who is also
a mother to me, did the best that she could to take care of me. When my
mother found out what had happened to me she thought about returning
to take care of me but after knowing that I was recovering she made the
decision to stay to continue working to give us a better life. Eventually, we
moved to San Marcos. I never imagined living there since I knew of it and I didn't like it. My brothers and I were scared because things there in the
new place were totally different. This meant leaving my friends and starting
to meet new people in a place that was too different for me. At night I was
afraid to go out because everything was different and it was scary at first.
My brothers and I cried every night and asked, “Why did we move here?!
Why!?” We never got an answer.

Later, as time went by, I understood the reality of why we moved to San
Marcos, and I understood the good that it meant to have moved to another
place and to be able to understand and know more of my family. After 8
years, when I was 16, I decided to emigrate to the United States to be with
my mother and my youngest brother who had moved there with my mother
some time before me. Knowing that I would leave my family with whom I
had grown up with to be able to see my mother for the first time in so long
was exciting, but scary. When I arrived in the United States and looked at
my mother for the first time in 16 years, it felt different to have a hug from
her. I had so many feelings, a lot of which are still hard to describe. I felt
safer being able to be with my mother and live with her here in the U.S. For
me, being with my mom again made me feel different. Those of you who
don’t have to experience living apart from the woman who brought you into
this world may not understand what it’s like. There is a feeling of newness,
of change, and of growth. So many feelings of happiness of seeing my mom
again and finally getting a hug and the somber ones of recovering some of the lost moments I had in my childhood and spending time with my brother, were all overwhelming.

But it is here that I live with them now and continue to grow in strength and
in family. Sixteen years is a long time to be away from someone you love and
hold close to your heart. There are a lot of us out there, immigrant children,
who experience the loneliness of a life in separation from their parents and
only a few of us who get to experience being together again.

© Alan . All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team and we can put you in touch with the author’s teacher.


  • Migration
  • Family
  • Community
  • Loneliness, Doubt or Loss