(which she shared at our 2015 Empowering Families Luncheon on December 3rd)
I would like to start by sharing with you who I am and a little of my background. In my country, Mexico, I was a teacher, a business owner, I also attended culinary school, I studied English as a second language. The reason why I had to leave and start over again was for the insecurity that I and my family were facing in my neighborhood. I had neighbors that were drug dealers, when we call the police and report them; we received threats leaving me with no choice but to leave.
When I came to the United States I felt lost, insecure and disoriented. I came a little over a year ago and started working at a restaurant in which I was working lots of hours for less than the minimum wage. People around me were of not help, the only things that I heard from them was that my life was going to be hard and that I was not going to make it, all the things were negative I wasn’t getting any positive thoughts. I was afraid of not been able to provide a future for my son, he is 4 years old. I didn’t know the system. One day, while sharing what I was going through he recommended me to reach out to The Latino Community Association.
Since connecting with LCA, I received the help and support that I needed. I got my resume done in a professional manner; I got a new job, and got connected with other agencies. I signed up for English classes; my son is attending school, and I feel everything is working out really well.
I feel more secure, better oriented, and empowered to keep working to reach my goals and thrive. I also got involved more with LCA by volunteering at the Redmond office and I enjoy it a lot. Every day I volunteer at the office, I see families come with questions and doubts and they always leave with the answers they are looking for. It makes me really happy.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
“When you help others and give back that is when your life makes sense”
With your donations, LCA will be able to provide services to more families like mine. You must be here today because you care a lot about this community. Please donate today and help us change more lives. There are many more families that need to be empowered.
Muchas gracias de mi corazon! From my heart.
(which he shared together with his wife and daughter at our 2015 Empowering Families Luncheon on December 3rd)
Q: Will You share a little about who You are and how you felt before coming to Latino Community Association?
First I want to thank you all for the opportunity to share my experience and a little of my history. Well, I am married to a beatiful Queen. We have four Princesses and One Handsome Champ. We live in Madras for the last 14yrs. Before my residence was in southern California. I was born in Mexico, I came to the US at the age of 11. In California i have many diferent jobs i work picking strawberries, green beans, lettuce – well many vegetables and fruits. At the age of sixteen I start Driving Trucks for My Father during vacation time in Mexico. 1996 I went to Truck Driving School Got My CDL AND My Profetional Driver Diploma.
On 3-28-1997 my life changed. I broke my back wile performing my duties at the company I work for. I Am permanently disabled my spine is fused in two places plus I have a Neuro stimulator implant. When the Doctors told me that i will be permanent disabled, it was really hard for me to accept it, But talking with my Father He told me that I am very lucky to be able to walk again. The hardest part of my condition is dealing with pain. My Injury is progressive every day is a new challenge. My life totally changed. We cannot afford to live in California any more. That’s when we moved to Central Oregon. We love this place. Right now My goal is to become an American citizen. I already feel like an American citizen.
First five years were great. We enjoy many different places all around the state. One day everything suddenly changed on May 18 2006 We have a car accident a man rearended us while i was stop at the middle line waiting to make a left Turn. That day not only My wife lost her memory, I lost my wife and my kids lost their Mother. That same day I experience for the first time how it feels to be driscriminated. Not only by the person responsible for the accident,but by The State Trooper and the staff from Redmond Hospital. That day was the start of many bad experience with many institutions and people in charge of them. I have to nock many doors looking for help looking for justice, couldn’t find it. I try to find comfort at Church but they ask me To leave because of my children. Later in time the Church have a new Father His Name is Luis Manuel Flores Alba. He knew about our condition and our needs. He gave me LCA’s phone number. I got in Touch with Mrs. Ana and She immediatly help me with all the process to renew my Resident Card – I have it expired for almost 4yrs. Main problem to renew my Resident card was money. Other problem is my disabillity for me to make a trip is something really hard to do. Ana helped me with all that. She make the renewal application, no charge. She even helped me with an another application and the INS didn’t charge me nothing for all the process of renewing my Resident card. She Helped Us with the OHP application, She gave us the hope and the security that we now have. After Knowing our whole history, Abuses still happening to us, LCA wanted to help more but unfortunately they don’t have the resources to do it.
Muchas Gracias SRA. ANA!
Q: How do you feel now? How has your life changed since connecting with LCA?
We all need more People Like Ana and all the Latino community Association. LCA returned to us some of the trust we lost due to all the bad experiences. My Resident card now is valid. My family and Me have Health insurance. Thanks to the help we recieved to fill the application, we now have a place that makes us feel we are not alone, that cares about our situation. Little by little they are helping find solution to our problems, i couldn’t find the correct words to discribe the inpact LCA bring to our life. I am confident that one day with LCA help we are going to have justice .
Before LCA I was very disappionted about living in Oregon. My Family and me suffer too many mistreatments in the worst way you can imagine, and the worst things you can think. Our history is too long and tragic, the lack of justice makes it worse. I am sorry that we don’t have time to tell all my History.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to say?
Please support Latino Community Association. Your donations help change the lives of Families like mine. Without LCA we have no support, no help. Like I mention before, I knock on many doors and only LCA opened it and held out their hand to help us. There are many people out there that need LCA. We need your help there are many areas to be covered and LCA wants to help but i understand they need help too. You have the power to help many people to live a better life. You have the power of stopping the frustration of Families like mine. I believe that with your donations one day LCA will have the Power to find justice for my family.
Thank you so much.
Stories reflect the experiences, struggles, hopes, and achievements of the families we serve. These are amazing people in extraordinary circumstances. Our mission is to empower families to thrive and participate fully as members of our communities. We invite and encourage you to support our mission by joining as a volunteer or making a donation today.
Envianos TU HISTORIA por correo electronico al email@example.com (maximo de 250 palabras) o haciendo cita en nuestra oficina para entrevistarte. Add YOUR STORY by emailing it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org (250 words or less).
Carmen is a 29 year-old woman from a small town in the state of Colima, Mexico. She came to the U.S. when she was 19 along with her brother and a cousin of theirs. Where she lived, there were no jobs that could support a family. She and her mother had to take a bus most days into the nearest larger city to sell what they could grow or raise on their land. It was tiring and it only provided for basic food and clothes,but nothing extra. When they arrived in the U.S., it was not easy either. They all lived in an apartment together with a friend from their hometown. Carmen found work cleaning houses and within a year she had joined a cleaning company that also cleaned offices. Two years later, she married a man she had known when she was just a child in Mexico. Two years after that, she was a mom. They first had a daughter and later a son. Life was pretty good here, but Carmen felt so alone because her parents and other siblings and family weren’t here to share this with her. She came to the Latino Community Association because a friend from work told her to. She had been worrying a lot about her kids and the possibility of her husband being deported. She was also feeling abandoned and all alone raising her kids while her husband was out working and doing things with friends. At LCA, we listened to Carmen. We learned that she really wanted to continue her schooling, that she wanted more for her kids, and that she needed to start doing more outside of her home. We immediately helped her apply to Head Start, which she didn’t know about. We also let her know about Mountain Star Family Relief Nursery. And within a month, we matched her with a volunteer English tutor who she meets with 1 day a week at the Eastside library. She’s truly a different person today than the woman we met a year ago. She’s happy and her kids are thriving.
My name is Manuel Torres (the name is fictitious, but the story is very real). I have four children who are all grown now. Their mother and I divorced over ten years ago. I came to Bend five years ago to look for work. There wasn’t much ork in California at that time. During that time I had to fight to keep from losing my house in California. It wasn’t as easy as I had hoped to find work here and I wasn’t making enough to pay for my house there and my rent here. Two of my kids lived in the house, but they were hardly working either and couldn’t pay all the bills. I found out about a program that could help me save my house and I went to the Latino Community Association to get help filling out all the forms. We completed everything and I mailed it all just as they said to. At LCA, they sent it by fax too. But within two months they sent a letter telling me to send everything again. I didn’t understand at all, but at LCA they told me to send it again and not to worry too much. They helped me call and get my questions answered too. While I was there, they told me about the services they provide to help people find work. They gave me the job list and helped me create a resume. One day they told me there was a company looking for painters. They helped me send my resume by internet and told me to go directly to the employer to introduce myself, which I did. I am still working with that company today, and I was able to save my house too after many attempts and a lot of frustration. They helped me a lot and I will always be grateful for that. Mi nombre es Manuel Torres. Soy padre de cuatro hijos que ya estan grandes. Su mama y yo nos divorciamos hace mas de 10 anios. Me vine para aca a Bend hace cinco anios para encontrar trabajo. En California no habia mucho trabajo. Durante ese tiempo luchaba para no perder mi casa en California. Aqui no me resulto tan facil encontrar trabajo y no tenia para pagar mi casa alla y la renta aqui. Dos de mis hijos vivian en la casa pero no estaban trabajando casi y tampoco podian pagar todos los biles. Me entere de un programa de ayuda para salvar mi casa y fui con la Comunidad Latina para que me ayudaran a llenar los formularios. Completamos todo y los envie como tenia que hacer y los de LCA me los enviaron por fax tambien. Pero en dos meses me enviaron una carta pidiendo que enviara todo otra vez. No entendi porque, pero en LCA me sugieron que enviara todo y no preocuparme demasiado. Tambien me ayudaron a llamar la compania para que respondieran a mis preguntas. Mientras estaba con ellos me informaron de la ayuda que prestan acerca de el empleo. Me dieron la lista de empleos y me ayudaron hacer mi resume. Un dia me avisaron que un negocio les habia pedido ayuda en encontrar pintores y me ayudaron a enviar mi resume por el internet. Tambien sugieron que me presentara en el negocio y lo hice. Hasta la fecha sigo trabajando con esa misma empresa y tambien pude salvar mi casa despues de muchos intentos y a pesar de mucha frustracion. Me ayudaron mucho y se lo agradezco para siempre.
Ariadna (Oregon high school senior – not a client)
Mi nombre es Ariadna Covarrubias. Naci en un pueblo en Mexico donde se miraban y juzgaban a uno de acuerdo con sus hechos. My name is Ariadna Covarrubias. I was born in a small town in Mexico where you were watched and judged according to what you did. . . . Read more
Mi nombre es Daniel. Soy de Perú. Tengo treinta y cuatro años, soy casado y tengo dos hijos. Tengo grado universitario de Perú. Trabajé en mi país como Ingeniero en Agricultura por casi seis años. También tengo un certificado como “Handyman”. Se que no puedo usar mucho de eso aquí, entonces trabajo dónde y cuándo puedo en construcción y restaurantes. Me gustaría hacer más, por eso estudio en COCC y espero conseguir un mejor trabajo. My name is Daniel. I am from Peru. I am 34 years-old, married and we have two kids. I have a college degree from Peru. I worked in my country as an agricultural engineer for six years. I also got a certificate as a handyman. I can’t use much of this here, so, I work where I can in construction and restaurants, mostly. I would like to do more, so I study at COCC and hope to get better work.
Soy Rodolfo. Tengo veintiséis años. Soy de México. He vivido en los E.U.A. desde hace doce años- cinco años aquí en Bend. He trabajado en construcción, jardinería, pintura, restaurantes y hasta en un molino. Trabajo en dos lugares cuando puedo. Me gusta estar aquí. A veces es difícil. Extraño a mi familia y a mis amigos. Me siento solo. No tomo, ni fumo, ni salgo de fiesta por las noches. Es demasiado peligroso. Es cuando más los policías te detienen, sin razón. Ahora se está poniendo más difícil. Más gente, Latinos, están siendo arrestados. He escuchado mas rumores sobre gente que piensa regresarse a México o mudarse al estado de Washington. My name is Rodolfo. I am 26 years-old. I am from Mexico. I have lived in the U.S. for 12 years – 5 years in Bend. I’ve worked in construction, landscaping, siding, painting, restaurants, and in a mill. I work two jobs whenever I can. I like it here. Sometimes it’s hard. I get lonely. I miss my family and friends. I don’t drink or smoke or go out at night partying. It’s too dangerous. That’s when the police stop you even if you aren’t doing anything. It’s getting harder now. More people, Latinos, are getting pulled over and arrested. I hear more people talking about moving to Washington or going back to Mexico.
Mi nombre es María Elena. Tengo dieciséis años. Nací en California. Vinimos a Redmond hace cinco años. Tengo dos hermanas menores que yo y un hermano bebé. Mis padres son de Nicaragua. Mi padre vino a los E.U.A. hace veinte años. Creo que mi mamá llego tres años después. Mi papá trabajo en el campo cerca de Modesto, California y mi mamá trabajó lavando y planchando ropa ajena, a veces vendía tamales o en lo que se podía. Ahora ellos trabajan en un molino. Uno trabaja durante el día y otro durante la noche. Nos gusta mas aquí que en California pero se está poniendo más difícil. De suerte que somos de Nicaragua por que es más fácil para nosotros conseguir papeles. Me siento mal por los Mexicanos porque es mucho más difícil para ellos. Ahora que ni si quiera pueden obtener licencias. My name is Maria Elena . I am 16 years-old. I was born in California. We came to Redmond about 5 years ago. I have two younger sisters and a baby brother. My parents are from Nicaragua. My dad came to the U.S. over twenty years ago. My mom came three years later, I think. My dad worked in the fields near Modesto and my mom worked sometimes too washing and ironing clothes, selling tamales or whatever. Now my dad and mom work in a mill. One works at night and one during the day. We like it here better than California, but it’s getting harder. I think we’re lucky being from Nicaragua because it’s easier for us to get papers. I feel sorry for Mexicans because it’s much harder for them. Now they can’t even get licenses.
Mi nombre es Carla. Tengo veintiocho años. Vine a Bend para estar más cerca a mi hermano y por trabajo. Mi hermano está casado y tiene 2 hijos. Su esposa y su familia no me tratan bien. A veces ella me pega y me insulta. Quiero hacer algo pero tengo miedo de llamar los policías. Mi hermano nunca hace nada. Y su esposa sabe que yo no llamaría los policías por miedo a que me detengan o me vaya peor. La mayoría del tiempo me siento triste. Usualmente trabajo en dos lugares limpiando casas y cuartos en los hoteles. Extraño a mi mamá y a mi familia. Me pregunto si algún día me puedo casar y ser madre. My name is Carla. I am 28 years-old. I came to Bend to be near my brother and to work. My brother is married and has two kids. His wife and her family don’t treat me very well. Sometimes she hits me and curses me. I want to do something about it, but I am afraid to call the police. My brother doesn’t do anything. And his wife knows I won’t call the police because they’ll take us all away. I am sad most of the time. I work two jobs usually cleaning houses and cleaning rooms at a hotel. I miss my mom and family. I wonder if I will get married someday and be a mother.
Mi nombre es Marisa. Soy casada, tengo treinta y cuatro años y soy madre de cuatro hijos. Mi familia es mi vida. He vivido en los E.U.A. desde hace ocho años- de los cuales 4 han sido aquí en Bend. Yo soy de México. Cada noche cuando voy a dormir, pienso en la posibilidad de que mi esposo puede ser arrestado y deportado cuando esta llendo a su trabajo o en camino a la casa. Me asusto y preocupo mucho por esto, por mis hijos y en que haríamos si esto pasa. Ahora que ya ni siquiera podemos obtener identificación ni licencia de manejo, me preocupo más que nunca. My name is Marisa. I am married and a thirty-four year old mother of four children. My family is my life. I have lived in the U.S. for eight years – four years in Bend. I am from Mexico. Every night I go to bed thinking about the possibility of my husband being arrested going to work or on his way home, and deported. It frightens and worries me. I worry about my kids. I worry about what we will do if this happens. Now that we can’t even get an ID or drivers license, I worry even more.