By F. G.
Grade 10, Illinois
Country of Origin: Ecuador

I am going to tell you about my background information. Then I will discuss about how was my travel from Ecuador to Chicago. Finally I am going tell about my life in USA. My name is F G. I was born in Ecuador on January, 26th, 1988. I have two brothers younger than me. My first Brother, who is eleven years old, is named Carlos. My second brother who is almost eight months is named Erick. He was born in Chicago. My motherÆs name is L P and my father name is L G. They are married. My goal is to be an accountant. I started school in Ecuador and here I am in 10th grade. My biggest challenge was when I had to come and leave my brother Carlos. I decided to come here when I was almost 13 years old. I came with a coyote and cousin; also there were many other people. When I was in Ecuador, my father sent me $8,000 dollars, because with this money I had to pay the coyote. The coyote told me that I have to give him $8,000 before I leave Ecuador, and when I am in Mexico I have to give him $1,000. He explains that we are leaving tomorrow. I said o.k. On October, 11 of 2000 I left Ecuador. I took a bus to Guayaquil at 10 o clock pm. I arrived in Guayaquil, the next day, I took a taxi from the hotel to the airport in Guayaquil. In the airport I took a plane to San Jose De Costa Rica I had a transfer From San Jose to Nicaragua. IN Nicaragua there was a lady who was going to receive us. I crossed many borders and it was difficult for me and also for my friends too, because we were going to San Salvador. We were walking and running. When we arrived to San Salvador we were happy. We ate there and stayed there for a week. Then we took a bus to go to the border of Guatemala. When we arrived there we took a shower and ate some food. In the evening we were trying to cross the river that was between the borders. We crossed the border from Guatemala to Mexico over the tire. (There were two tires, on the tires were wood and we were on the wood). Two men were pulling the tires and they were wet because they were walking in the river. After we crossed the borer we had to run over the trailer. In Mexico we took a trailer, we were inside the trailer for 30 minutes when the police stopped the trailer. Then they opened the door of the trailer, and they arrested us. We were about 35 people. They took our pictures, and then they sent us to prison in Mexico City. In prison we were for 30 days. I was with my cousin in the same side where younger people with their families have to be in the same side of jail. From Ecuador to Mexico I took two months and 10 days. On the first day of January they sent us to Ecuador, I was sad. When I arrived in Ecuador I was happy, because I wished to see my brother and talk to him. My second time was almost exactly. I came on boat. It was dangerous, because we had a lot of people on the boat, and the boat was going to sink. The coyote called another empty boat for help. An empty boat was coming. While the boat was coming, a lady on my boat had her hand on the edge of the boat. The empty boat came and hit our boat. It cut off a ladyÆs middle finger. Her finger was between two boats. The food that the coyote gave us was different, because it was Mexican food. The second time that I came was hard, because at the last border I was trying to cross the border between Phoenix, Arizona and Aguas Prietas, Mexico. I tried five times but I did not cross. Because immigration arrested us, but we had luck, they only sent back to Aguas Prietas, Mexico. I was so tired to cross the dessert. My father called me to the place where I was. I told him that I was trying to cross the border, but I could not. We decided that he is going to pay $3,000 more, because a lady had a son and her son was going to burrow his document. So he paid and this lady took me to her home. I and my cousin were in her home for one week, because my cousin had to take pictures for her document. I was the only who was going to cross the border with the original document, because her son burrowed his documents to me. My cousin Lourdes took more days than me. I was the first one who crossed with other documents. The lady took me in her car. We were crossing the border when the police asked her where we going and she said we are going to McDonalds. The police asked me if I can show him my ID and I showed him and he said go ahead. This lady left me with her old friend in Phoenix in border of Mexico, for three weeks. I was waiting for Lourdes. When Lourdes crossed the border we went to the border of Phoenix Angeles. In the bus the lady hugged and said. Act like you are sleeping I did and I heard immigration ask her can I see your ID. She gave her ID and the immigration said. Is he your child? And she said yes the immigration said let me see his ID. She showed my ID and the immigration said have a good travel. Lourdes was behind us and immigration asked her where are you going?. She said to, to, to, she was nervous and then she said, to Los Angeles, they saw her ID and they said o.k. When we arrived to Los Angeles, the lady gave us food. We were in Los Angeles at night. This lady gave us one bedroom for me and my cousin. The next day the coyote came and took us to another home. This coyote gave money to this lady and we went to another house. I saw my other friends there, we were talking and I said how you crossed the border. She said we were tried another time and we crossed. I said how many crossed with you she said 10 but five left from here to New York. I said when are you going to leave. They said tomorrow and maybe you are going too. The coyote gave food and he asked do you want to call to your family? I said o.k. I called to my father, and I said I am in Los Angeles you have to give all the money that you have to the coyote from Ecuador. He said I will call to your grandmother, because she is going to give the money to the coyote. I said it is o.k. The next day the coyote took us to the airport in Los Angeles. When we were in the airport the coyote gave the ticket with a different name. So we were gong to put on line to get on the plane. When we were traveling almost four hours, we stopped in some place for about 30 minutes. Then the next stop was gong to be Chicago. When we stopped in Chicago I was so happy. I and Lourdes were following to the other people to get out of the airport. Suddenly I saw to my uncle and he saw me. He said letÆs go to the car, inside the car was my father and my aunt I hugged to my father. I began to cry for the happiness that I was feeling. We were going to my fatherÆs apartment. There was my mother. She was crying and I hugged her. I was so happy and feeling different, because I was not with my parents for seven years so it was a little difficult to live together again. Mean while the time was passing I was feeling comfortable with my parents. We used to talk about the time that we didnÆt see each other. IÆm happy with my parents. I am sad, because I miss my brother and my family that are in Ecuador. I called to my brother the first day that I arrived here. My brother asked me how was the travel? I was telling him how it was. Now I have a better life here. The first day that I went to school it was difficult, because I did not understand English. Now I am studying English and I understand a little bit. I wish to meet my; brother in Ecuador or here. I would like to be citizen to have the opportunity to go to Ecuador and see again my family and friends. My dream for the future is to be an accountant or a nurse. I will graduate from high school and also I will go to college, because I would like to have a better job. I know for the difficult time that I had pass, now I have to do the best that I can do and be happy with my parents.

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