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Diana Ortiz

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Diana Ortiz was born in San Francisco, CA, in 2001. When she was six months old, her mother sent Diana to live with her grandparents in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Diana lived there until 2009, when she moved back to the United States.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Please contact Immigration History Research Center staff for permissions not covered by this Creative Commons license.

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"Being Raised in Mexico"

I was born in San Francisco on January 5, 2001. My mom Silvia Ortiz became a single mom. When I was 6 months she decided to let me go to Mexico because I got sick, "Me enpache," and since my mom was a single mother, she couldn't take care of me, so she talked to my grandparents and they said "we want to meet her." So I went to mexico, Guadalajara, Jalisco. My grandma's house is 2 floor house, in which back then 2 of my tias and 2 of my uncles lived upstairs. There are 3 big rooms. I am the 3rd child which means in Mexico I have 2 big siblings. I have a big brother and a big sister. Downstairs one of my tios had a room. The other one was mine and my sister's and the last room was for my grandparents. My brother had to stay in the living room. I was in Mexico for 9 years and 11 months. Those years and months where the best. I went to school and it was really fun and different.

In Mexico they sell lunch. They had a little place where you can buy your food. It was called "la coperativa." I would go to the beach a lot. I would have so much fun. I had a lot of family. My grandma had 12 kids. Living in Mexico with your grandparents thinking that they're your real parents is the worst thing, especially when you find out that they're not your parents. It's heartbreaking. My grandpa was the best person. He was the best dad. He was the best grandpa. He would always buy me what I wanted. I was his "little one," his "chinita." He didn't only buy me what I wanted. He was the only person who will should me that he actually loves me. He would give me good advice and make me feel like I can do many things in life. He would always tell me "you are going to do good in life." Then in 2009 my mom got a report that I had to come to United States. It was really hard because I was really used to being in Mexico with my family. Going to school in Mexico is really different because of the way that they teach. Teachers in Mexico are really strict because you have to wear a uniform and no phones are allowed. And they will take it away. They don't care.

Here they are a little bit scared to confront their kids. Living in California is really different because I was super used to going to parties, jaripeos, going to sleep late with all my cousins, going out with my friends at night, knowing all my family. Jaripeos are parties that are celebrated in ranches, in which we have to wear traditional clothing. We dance a lot of traditional music, and sometimes they make horses dance. Here in United States there are some jaripeos too. They are also known as American rodeos. What I mean by knowing all my family I mean that since I grew up in Mexico, I got really used to them. Now coming to United States everything has changed. I didin't know English. I didn't really understand the students, the tv. I just didn't like it. I was annoyed. But then I thought and I said to myself, I want my family to be proud of me. I started thinking that I wanted a better future with good opportunities. So I started paying attention. It was really hard that I didn't know my mom and my little sister. No one out here. It was really hard to say "mama" or something to my mom because I was really used to saying it to my grandma. It was really hard leaving from somewhere where you are used to getting home late, really late, family parties, somewhere that everbody knows you, and with your family that you grow up with. To nothing, feeling lonely, not having the much freedom, not knowing anybody, only your family through Skype. It was was really hard. I would cry almost every day. When I started 4th grade it was "ok." My first USA teacher spoke English and Spanish. She helped me a lot. Some students were nice, but some where really mean just because I didin't speak English, but as soon as they knew I was born here they were really nice. But out of all my experiences I have learned to always stay positive, and even though hard situations.

"SIEMPRE CON LA FRENTE EN ALTO" -DIANA ORTIZ