I had the privilege of interviewing Joselina Hijar for the Dartmouth Latino Oral History Project. I am very thankful that she was willing to share her story with me and others through this Oral History. Joselina has a great story of migration, growing and perseverance and I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to listen.
This is her story:
When Joselina left her home country in 2001, she left in search of something new. At the adventurous age of 21, she wanted to leave her comfortable life and have new experiences; experiences that the U.S seemed to offer. When an opportunity presented itself, Joselina left South America with idealistic dreams and expectations of the United States. After traveling for 10 days, through four different countries and encountering unexpected difficulties, Joselina arrived in Florida and eventually California.
Before leaving her home country, Joselina believed in the American Dream. Movies and the media had told her that in the United States “there are dollars all over” and jobs are abundant. Joselina thought that she would learn English rapidly, make money and return to her home country. As Joselina shared her story with me, I was able to see how those ideas changed. As she puts it, “[In my country] I was spoiled. I was very spoiled”. She feels that she took many things for granted in her county. Although Joselina did not leave her country out of economic necessity, her experiences are similar to those of other migrants. Coming to the United States has radically changed her opinion on things like education, migration, discrimination and gender roles.
Currently, Joselina lives with her partner and daughter in the United States. She is working to finish her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology and has set plans for her future career. Joselina has worked very hard to accomplish her goals; goals that were influenced by her migration and lived experience in the United States. When she is not studying, she likes to swim, play soccer and is now learning French.