Ever since I was fourteen years old, the same routine has always occurred. Each morning, I wake up at the break of dawn, and I see my parents getting ready for another day of work in the fields, full of diseases and pesticides. I see my mother, always clever and strong, making breakfast for my family. I see my father, outside, checking if his vehicle is in good condition. I stand next to my window, like a lost soul, watching my parents enter a deep camp which only guarantees illness and a pitiful wage for picking grapes. Later in my reflection, I realize I am in those fields, exposed into the same danger they are in. My “internal journey,” the one, that although of its danger, I have been able to gain much knowledge.
Every season, we travel from place to place in search of work, living in a world where poverty is the problem. I have been exposed to many different experiences and obstacles that made me grow stronger and value my education. It might not be a so called “vacations,” but it is my internal journey, a place where I am all summer with my parents, learning experiences, and reflecting about my surroundings and life. “A day working in the fields,” is the same as every day, waking up at dawn, hearing my mother’s words, “hurry up mijita, (daughter) put on your pañuelos and get ready for another day.” I feel deep emptiness within her words, telling me that this is not the life she wants for me. Later, I hear her saying “Andale, Patty, hurry up and cut those grapes faster, we must complete the amount of boxes required.” I then realize the reason my mother does not get her breaks is not because she’s not tired, but it’s so we can complete the amount of boxes the owners are requiring from their workers to make per day. I do not complain; after seeing my mother work so hard, she has becomes my hope, and strength to continue. She taught me the lesson of persistence, of being a hard working lady, and letting me know that the life in the fields is not easy; that I have the option of choosing a better life, an option that she was never offered. Throughout the years, a growth in maturity has developed and I have been able to think beyond the problems, and seek for a solution into the injustices I’ve encountered.
Working with my family has made me endure and increased my enthusiasm of going into a four-year university. Ever since the age fourteen, I have worked every summer with my parents in the fields of Coachella Valley and Bakersfield. This is my “internal journey” the fields in where I have explore and encounter much knowledge, where I have been aware of the different “treatments” there could possibly be. I have learned how to swallow my words after seeing many injustices, but I have gain strength to come back and improve the bad working conditions within my community. My family, cousins and friends are my inspiration, and although we are exposed into danger in the fields, we always go to work with a positive attitude, for working together is what makes my day bright and significant. I have learned to believe in myself, a migrant and Latina student who is determined to help my family, my community, my Raza; they are my inspiration, my world!
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