Traveling Within These Walls - My Family Travels

Franco Vargas Gonzalez

April 5th, 2010


I had never gone on an actual adventure before, not one where it wasn’t simply an attempt to waste a few hours and have some laughs. This adventure was different, this time I was going to an event in my life that would change me completely and make me feel like a new person. I didn’t need to travel to the other side of the country in order to discover something new that I had never experienced. I live in San Diego County, in a small city by the name of National City. I never traveled out of my little city into the surrounding area, if anything I traveled inside a car with my parents. Once I began to travel it was simply from destination to destination I was on a mode where all I needed to do was get from point A to point B, my life became a series of scheduled events. I never took part in community events or really wandered off the good child line, although I wasn’t the best child to begin with. This event changed my whole views and spirit of my teenage life.

The event came into mind from all the budget cuts that were happening around San Diego, my future began to be threatened by these educational cuts. Flyers started going up all over campus, at San Diego City College I began to see students speak out, before class, during class, after class, during any time that they could speak. Students were angry, teachers were angry; they all spoke of the same thing, a protest. I never imagined myself taking part in a community event; I never imagined that my first event would be a protest and a march. It began like any other day, I planned the day out grabbed my camera and snapped on my wide shot hoping to get a few good pictures from the day. I first had only planned to attend the event in order to get only a few pictures and leave to my Spanish class, which started at 6:30. I arrived at the protest site at 4 with a group of friends only to find that the march had not yet arrived to that location yet.  Me and my friends waited until we began to see the few people who were already at the location began to move towards the right side of the location. We began to hear cheers and sirens, I began to walk over in the direction that they were coming from and I began to see an immense flow of people coming from the streets in a large marching group. They held flags, signs, sirens, all with their heads held high and their arms stretched up with a closed fist. They all came into the location and sat down all cheering loud, making themselves be heard.

The protest began with a strong speech, it was not this speech that made me feel involved. This speech was simple and to the point, it covered what the purpose of the protest was what the demands were and what the students had to do. The other speeches covered the same area from a different perspective, the Hispanics the African Americans the Filipinos and so on. It wasn’t until the fourth speech by a student of UCSD that captured me and made me feel like a part of the movement and not just some reporter, this student stood up high and spoke. He spoke of the students, not the protest or the needed acts of protest, he spoke of the students of their purpose in life to better enrich themselves to prove to the world that these students were born for great things that these students were born with a purpose. This speech had me in tears I felt united I felt great I joined in, in the cheering and clapping the yelling and all the love, all of the love that boy presented. I remained at the protest until 7 instead of my original plan of only 30 minutes, I couldn’t leave I was amazed I felt great I felt alive.

This event alone changed my life, I began to take part in more events and community awareness was awakening in my head. It taught me to be involved to search for adventure, to strive for knowledge. This event alone helped me become a better person it changed my life. Although it may have not been far from home or out of state, this small travel from home into the inner city helped me better understand my larger community, which is my current world. I don’t have the money to travel to a nice city or a nice country but I now have the mind and heart to admire the surroundings I have and the depths of what my county is made of.



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