The place where I was born is up in the mountains in the southern part of the State of Veracruz in Mexico. Its name is Coetzapotitla, an indigenous name and it is a Nahuatl indigenous community that is so small it doesn’t even show up on most maps. My parents and grandparents spoke the native language, Nahuatl, but unfortunately, the language has been lost among my generation.
When I finally had the chance to come to San Francisco, I became aware of all the opportunities for personal improvement and with such a history of social justice struggle. I remember, especially being inspired by listening to music from [local Mission District singer-songwriter] Francisco Herrera, who wrote songs about the stories about past immigrants who came to this country, worked in the fields and struggled to achieve their goals, to have their rights recognized. My own goal for my children is that they take advantage of the better opportunities in this country, without forgetting about their roots. I am proud that Spanish my children’s primary language and that my older son can read in Spanish.
My connection with Mission Graduates began last year, when I attended the Believing the College Dream workshops for parents at Bryant Elementary. I like the vision Mission Graduates has of offering workshops for parents taught by other parents just like us but who have been trained. I hope to keep learning myself and continuing to engage more parents at Bryant.