My First Day in America - Episode 3 - Xavier Lopez
"I remember being so proud when I read like my first full book in English, which was ‘Holes.’" Xavier Lopez moved to the United States from Ecuador as a boy. This what happened on his first day in America.
‘If you if you have good intentions, things work out’
A fresh start
Hi, my name's Xavier Lopez. I came here to the United States from Ecuador when I was 8 years old back in 2002. My first day in America was a little hard for me because I was, I didn't want to be here at the time. I mean, I was very young. And I didn't want to leave all my family over there. It felt like we didn't have an option as kids. When we first came here to the United States, we lived here at my aunt's house. This is a place where she had already set up a place for us to stay in the basement. She owned the whole place, which was great because by the time we got here, we didn't know anybody else other than our family. And she was able to put us there even though my parents didn’t have a job at the time or anything.
Home is where the heart is
Corona is a big Ecuadorian, Mexican, Colombian neighborhood. It's kind of all flavors of Latin American communities here, which is one of the great things about moving to this part of the United States. We were at a place where we could get by being immigrants and barely knowing the English language. It was very helpful as a transitional period in our lives. This is an area where we would come on the weekends like take a nice little stroll around here, this little shopping district. because there were many things to do.
I miss Queens a lot. My heart's always with Queens because like everything so familiar. Just kind of feels like at home with all the noises, you know, like the Spanish speaking and like the loud honks, that somebody's playing reggaeton somewhere. There are things along the way that seem insurmountable. But if you stick it out and if you if you have good intentions, things work out.
And even more
The xenophobia behind the health screenings of immigrants in Ellis Island
Charity feeds undocumented restaurant workers in LA
What It’s Like to be Told to “Go Back to Your Country”
Ex-Border Patrol Agent on Agency's "Racist" Culture
A sanctuary for migrants
My first day in America - Episode 4: Jean-Pierre's story