This interview was with two sisters. One of the women snuggled her baby in her arms while we talked.
My family is a big family. Three brothers. Three sisters. My grandpa, too. In our tradition, a grandpa, all grandparents, are very important.
In Mexico, it’s very expensive to go to school and to college. My dad does not have the money to send us to school. In Mexico, the schools are very small. Sometimes the kids don’t have books or food. Sometimes, the father makes a decision: the kids no go to school because they have no school clothes and no shoes.
Here in the U.S., it is different. Everybody pays taxes and helps the schools.
The work in factories is very hard. Before I studied to be a beautician, I thought this work was hard, but I need a profession. So, I study. I become beautician. It is a good profession for a women with a family. Sometimes, my kids go to work with me! I think it was a good decision.
My sisters followed me and learned this profession.
I had not too much problem first coming here. For a lot of people, without family? It is very difficult. I am lucky because my sister lived here. I lived with her for some years when I first came. She helped me: “Where is the doctor? Where is the school? And where is the library?”
I finished the High School in Mexico and I told my mom to send the paper. But it was very difficult. Then, one lady at COD (College of DuPage) helped me. She said, take the test again. For me, it was not too hard. (But the writing was hard!) Now, I have the GED.
We are taught it is very important to help people who are neighbors, to help the older people. This is our tradition. Sometimes on a special day, we make special food. We serve everybody! It’s very important to help people who are my neighbors.
To help old people, this is my tradition. I visit my neighbors when they are sad, when they are alone. I talk. Sometimes, I clean dishes, or make food. Sometimes they don’t like my food. I understand. It’s different from their food. It’s okay.
I do this for my children, to see this tradition. I serve my neighbors and community.
We are lucky. We have family.