Life Across Borders

Mexican-American Border

When Jesus and Rosa Parra immigrated to the United States, they had no idea of the things that were to come.

Their journey from Mexico to the land of the free was thrilling, yet shocking at the same time.

Jesus and Rosa were born in Mexico and moved after having five children. As anyone can expect, life across the border was not easy. The differences in cultures, language, and the loss of home were factors that impacted their life.

Culture is the very essence of who the Parra’s are. It is everywhere and can vary from place to place. Culture dictates the decisions people make and how those decisions impact their lives.

Photo Courtesy of Google Images: Free to Use
Mexican-American Border. Photo courtesy of Google Images: Free to Use

In fact, Jesus recalls one incident where the difference in culture and a language barrier affected him. Parra says, “At work, they make fun of my accent. They laugh at me and repeat things that I say using my accent.”

Parra acknowledges that he looks different than the majority of the population in the United States. He is a minority. He accepts that he sounds different and that he can think and speak in two languages.

Rosa speaks of the challenges that come with raising a family that was born in Mexico but lives in the United States. Their eldest during the time of the move was ten years old. Parra says, “While we were trying to learn a new language to find jobs, our kids had to learn a new language to excel in school.”

All of these factors motivate them to keep providing for their family. The Parra’s left Mexico with the intent of giving their children a better life. Their cultural mobility has left them with a sense of not knowing a true passport culture anymore, but creating a home wherever they go with whatever they have.

The Parra’s have lived in the United States for almost 30 years. After six children and five grandchildren, they strive to keep a little bit of Mexican culture alive in their home. They speak Spanish and English. They cook Mexican food every night for dinner. They watch Mexican news and American news. Though their culture is fluid, they are confident in their choice of giving their family the best of both worlds.

Four out of six Parra children during one of their first vacations in America
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