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Walking In My Shoes: Second Place Winner 2021

By Luisa Esperanza Lopez Gomez
When I was a child, my brother and I climbed a hill in Guatemala and looked out, thinking that behind two mountains was the United States. My parents made the decision to come to the United States for a better life and they left us with my grandmother for 12 years when I was 3 years old. Eventually, things started to get worse. Extortionists began to send notes of kidnapping threats to my grandmother and at that time my grandmother was also beginning to feel sick. My grandmother told my parents what was happening, and my parents made the decision to bring us to the United States. My mother called a Mexican coyote and asked if he could cross two children into the United States. I remember that my brother was anxious and happy that he was going to see what the United States looked like. I was not feeling the same emotion to come to the United States and see my parents again because I did not remember what they looked like. I was too little when they left us, and I told my mom that I did not want to come. My parents said that we would take along journey on January 12. The last 3 days I spent in my home country, I remember that we went to Coatepeque, a place where there are many stores. We went to the store called La segunda where people sell used clothing. After we paid, we went to eat granisadas de limon, a delicious ice that it is common in Guatemala. On the second day, I went to a fair with my uncle and his family. My cousin and I got on the Ferris wheel, and we played games and I won prizes. On that day, I had a lot of fun with my family, but I was sad because I remembered that it was the last day in my home country. When we got home from the fair, we started to prepare our clothes and belongings for the next day to get up at 3 in the morning and wait for the person who was going to drive us to the border with Mexico. That night, I couldn’t sleep because I was nervous and sad. It is difficult to say goodbye to friends, cousins and to my grandmother who took care of me for a long time. In the early morning, I woke up and put on my clothes for the trip. Before getting in the car, we said goodbye to my family and began to pray so that God would take care of us. When we finished praying, I started crying because I was leaving my school, friends, family and my room. I kept wondering if I would see my grandmother again or if she could not stay alive when I could travel. We got in the car, and I looked back at my home country from the last time.