The day is a hot one, estimated to be 102. Slowly my family drives past an orchard where we see, in various locations a small family all working meticulously. In the far back is a small boy, no older than nine or ten. In this heat the family works diligently, picking pears from the tops of the trees and gently placing them in a nearby basket. As I sit in my air conditioned car I can see the beads of sweat drip down each one of the exhausted family members faces. The longer I watch this family I begin to wonder about how long they have been at work. most likely they have been out here since six in the morning and probably won’t be heading home until seven this evening.
For the vast majority of immigrant families this is a typical day; long hours, intense labor and very little pay. Many of these families come from severely “ghetto” parts of Mexico where gun shots are heard at all times of day and one wrong look at the wrong person can get you killed. This is the reason so many families come to the land of the free. While the days are long and stressful, it’s better to work hard to provide for their families than to see gangs and guns every time they step through the front door.
(EMO) Educatión un Mundo de Oportunidades, or a World of Opportunities, was held at RCC on November 15. EMO was a motivational conference for students of Hispanic heritage. Often Hispanic children will look at their parents and ancestors lives and decided their fate is predetermined. These kids tend to feel inadequate; they think college is too hard for someone of their family and race. College is hard for anyone, but nothing is impossible.
At RCC we did workshops to find colleges, scholarships and looked at budgets for life after high school. Looking at these things and listening to Latin guest speakers that already overcame the intense poverty helped those undecided teens decide what they wanted their life to be like years from now. For anyone out there who feels like they are lesser and therefore can’t do something like attend college, you should know that all you need to do is ask for help. There are so many great resources within the school and community that are made to help YOU succeed. With a little help and hard work anything is possible.