“Go Cheyla go!” said Janna
“.1 left!” said Delia
“Drive those arms, Let’s PR!” said Cleo
My mile 3 pace was fast and filled with unforgettable memories. This weekend I went to New Jersey to visit my uncle and his family which was an emotional experience because I had not seen them for over 5 years. My birthday this summer was celebrated for an entire week starting with my family. My family in New Jersey did a BBQ and invited other relatives to attend so I could meet them. Being away from home is tough because you don’t have the same support that family gives and this weekend I had that support. My uncle shared his story and the many obstacles, suffering, and sacrifices he endured. My uncle was forced to grow up because my grandpa passed away when they were children. As a child, my uncle used to work as a welder in Mexico City for the metro center. He recalls having to sleep on a cardboard box after his shift because he could not afford a ticket to go back home, “Me acuerdo que dormía encima de cartones y ahí mismo pasaban los ratones por que no tenía suficiente dinero para regresarme a Puebla.” My uncle says that he would go months without seeing his siblings or mom and encourages me to not feel sad but rather proud because I am doing something he only wishes he could’ve done, “Mija nosotros sufrimos muchísimo para estar aquí, y pues si sé que es difícil estar lejos de la familia pero imagínate que orgulloso están tus papás. Todos sufrimos en una manera u otra pero esta experiencia nadie te la va a dar así que échale ganas y ya pronto vas a ver tus papás.” Listening to my uncle’s story made me reflect on the changes that have occurred to this day.
Also, I had the opportunity to see the work that Univision does in Washington D.C. which gave me yet another career possibility. I used to think that Univision was only an anchorwoman or anchorman with their set crew but there is a lot more that Univision does. There are multiple subgroups that focus on different subjects: health, sports, politics, etc. and after speaking to Liliana Ranon and Tsi-Tsi-Ki Félix I became intrigued and interested in working for, or shadowing, Univision, specifically with Liliana Ranon who works under the health division. Both Liliana’s and Tsi-Tsi-Ki’s stories were impactful because it demonstrated that we need to think of giving back in whatever position we end up in. Being in D.C. has given the other interns and I an exposure to what others can’t have. Cleo Rodriguez said, “To those who much is given, much is expected,” and we pay it forward by giving back. This was yet another gift to my birthday because it showed me that our dreams and aspirations may be unclear but our perseverance and dedication to the work we do will always remain.
July 18, 1996 was the day I was born and the day my father was desperately looking for a job in Oregon. I am now 21 years old and today my parents are not here. It’s now a different situation because I was not forced to leave my family and look for a job, rather I was selected to intern at Farmworker Justice in Washington D.C. Today I attribute my success to both my mom and dad because if it were not for all the sacrifices they endured then, I wouldn’t be here today. As a child I was ashamed of the work my parents did but as I am growing up I am appreciating the work and my parents. The best gift for my birthday this year is knowing that my parents are doing well in health. Farmworker Justice has opened my eyes on all the devastating effects agriculture work can have on farmworkers and we are fighting to demand justice for these workers.
Written by: Cheyla Moranchel