44 years ago today, I arrived to NYC from Bogota, Colombia. I had just turned 9 years old.
I along with my mother and sister Mercedes (now both gone) were the last of our family of 11 to immigrate to the US.
My family life would change as I knew it from that day on. Despite the price one pays as child immigrant, I went on to graduate from Queens College, become a US Citizen, have a family of my own, a 30 year+ career in IT, a return to music and photography after 30 years, studied Martial Arts, ran a Marathon barefoot at 50, continue to manage diabetes, battled and survived Prostate Cancer, and now expecting our first grandchild 💖😃
This was was taken on 12/13/1970 in front of the apartment building where we lived in Flushing, NY. I was 9 years old, and it was ONE day after I arrived at NYC from Bogota Colombia.
It snowed that day, and like a puppy, i played and relished in the snow. I still had a child’s sense of innocence and hope back then. I though I would be reuniting with my family, but unfortunately Immigration has a price, and my family life would never be the same.
It would be the last 2 months that I spent with both my mom and dad, before being sent to live in Philadelphia with my sister Elvira. Less than 2 years later I was alone with my mother when she visited us in Philly when she had her first of several brain strokes.
By the time I was 14, I went from being the baby of the family (youngest of 11) to realizing that I would be on my own as we all scattered and struggled with our own journey to establish our own lives and families in the US.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad to be here in the USA. After all I’ve spent 44 out of my 53 years here, and have gotten many opportunities which I was smart enough to follow through on.
Life is what it is, and it’s one’s responsibility to do the best with what you are given. Obstacles that I encountered have only made me stronger, and my heart more open. I’m glad to be here in the USA. After all I’ve spent 44 out of my 53 years here, and have gotten many opportunities which I was smart enough to follow through on.
One of my favorite photos that I’ve taken is this view of an American flag, from our back window.
Like life itself, the USA is indeed the land of opportunity, but it is up to us to act and participate in what is offered, and to be strong enough to deal with the obstacles along the way.
Ater all “The Journey Is The Reward…”