journalist / first-generation / Mexican-American
Interviewing a journalist can always be tricky. Knowing how the sausage gets made makes you more hesitant to have another one. Mix that with my anxiety about not wanting to portray any Mexican-Americans by stereotypes laid out for us by the current administration and you can safely assume the interview started off a little awkward. That faded quickly as we both bonded over being first-generation Americans and was in the rear view entirely she started to describe what Juarez was truly like and how symbiotic the relationship with El Paso actually is.
"I'm really happy that I struggled a lot going through college and high school because it made me the person that I am. I wouldn't want to be a spoiled little brat who had everything handed to her."
On El Paso
"It's not like New York, L.A. or Dallas but I like it here. I like this(motions around the library.) I like that even if you don't have a lot of money you can have your own little home and own a car. You get your privacy. You can sing in the car and no one will look at you like you're crazy like when you're on the NYC subway and you want to sing (laughs.)"
On why she is leaving
"It's not the place for me right now because I can't really work here as a journalist as I would want to. Sure, I could do some freelance work and things like that but I can't have the one specific job that I want which is building interactives and doing digital journalism. El Paso is just not there yet, there is no job for me here. We don't have the space to do that, so that's why it isn't for me right now. There's just not the same opportunities here. If you want to come back here to build your own company, you'll be the first to do something. It's scary, hard and there's always a chance that it's not going to work."
"The biggest scam in America is that everybody is equal. When you're an immigrant like I am, people tell you that when you go to America everybody is equal there, you can do whatever you want and you can be whoever you want.
And even though it has worked out for me, and I'm very lucky for that, it's not like that for everybody. Just think about the educational system. It helps that the ones who have the most, keep it. And if you don't have the guidance or the economic support then it's going to be way harder.
I'm really happy that I struggled a lot going through college and going through high school because it made me the person that I am. I wouldn't want to be a spoiled little brat who had everything handed over to her. So I think so I'm happy to be different."
On Juarez and El Paso
"It doesn't really feel like two countries. I would say it feels like two neighboring cities like if you are in Manhattan and you cross over to the Bronx. People cross the bridge every day. It's a shared culture. El Paso is more expensive than Juarez but I would say that's probably the biggest difference. "
On how America changed her
"It's kind of difficult to explain because I was a kid when I moved here. So I was going to change either way, if I stayed or if I moved. I had to mature very early because my mom was sick. I helped take care of her. So I had to mature quickly."
On shared culture
"I don't mean just the Mexican-American culture, you know the food and music and the art. It's also that people here have this very family-oriented culture. The priorities are always family and community so if you're going to succeed then remember where you come from and give back to your community."
From Morgan Hill, CA
Lives in Los Angeles, CA