If At First You Don’t Succeed…

10744045555_2caa3e7c30_bLife at home was peaceful until one night when my cousin dropped by the house. He invited me to go to the United States with him. He said, “Pedro, let’s go to Phoenix now!” I was completely surprised by this and had many doubts. My cousin kept persisting until I finally gave in. I could hear the excitement in his voice as he told me to grab some shoes and whatever else I wanted to take with me. Again, I was completely surprised by this whole situation, but my cousin told me to bring some money for the man who was going to take us across.

I soon learned that my female cousin and another girl would be joining us on our adventure. My male cousin saw how beautiful this other girl was, and he was joking about the possibility of marrying her when we made it to the United States. Before I could leave the house, I had to ask my mom permission to leave. I was so nervous about what my mother would say, but when I explained what was going on she was as shocked as I was. She said it was fine for me to go since my father was already living in Arizona, but she demanded that I could not leave the house until she made burritos for us. Slide1My cousin was in such a rush that he did not want to wait for my mom to prepare burritos for our trek. I knew it would be worth it so I convinced him to wait, and before we knew it, my mom came out carrying a big bag with twenty burritos in it.

Our coyote, or border crossing guide, was waiting outside for us in the driveway. The four of us hopped in the car, and as we approached the border we all had to hide under the seats. Two hours later, the car stopped, and we were all relieved to get out of the cramped vehicle. But by that time it was dark. The darkness allowed us to walk behind the guard station, across the border, without being detected. A long walk lay ahead of us, but luckily we found several older abandoned houses where we could rest for the night. There was nothing to sleep on in those houses, so we had to create makeshift beds out of cardboard. CampfireThe bone-chilling cold swept through the house that night and since we did not have any blankets, it seemed much colder. When morning rolled around we were all very hungry, and I remembered the burritos that my mom had packed for us. I pulled out the bag that the burritos were in, and immediately my cousin came forward to try to get some. I gave him such a hard time because he was the one that said we didn’t need them, but he offered to make a fire to warm us up in exchange for burritos. I agreed that this would be a fair deal, and I can still remember how delicious those burritos tasted by the fire on that chilly morning.