A decade as an American


Moving to a different area or city is certainly not an easy thing to do. Friends, family, acquaintances are often very meaningful, but lost in an instant when shifting to a new location.

My experience was very similar to this, but to a whole new level.

Leaving Bolivia (South America) when I was 13 was perhaps one of the hardest things that I have even done in my entire life.
Leaving everything that I knew behind was certainly a shocking experience, one that was only made worse due to cultural and language differences.

I can now appreciate the ability to speak three languages (Spanish, Portuguese, and English), but I initially hated it. Not being able to communicate properly with other human beings is perhaps the worst feeling in the world and only made worse by the differences in culture.

Not every aspect of immigrating to the United States was a negative one, as a variety of factors in my life certainly improved.

The reason we moved was to get a better education in a country that is structured to set up students for success.

As much as students complain (I am student teaching at the moment, I hear it first hand) about not having certain things or that the things that they do have are not good enough, I cannot help but laugh.

Comparing the American education system to those of other countries, like Bolivia, is not feasible.

The public school system in Bolivia, known as “Colegios Fiscales,” has devoted 25 percent of the national budget, albeit from a much smaller national budget than the United States.

This percentage is not enough to provide quality teachers, supplies, or to even furnish the classrooms properly.

For example, an average teaching salary in Bolivia is about $100-$350 month. With all of this in mind, I can not be thankful enough for the opportunity that this country has given me.

Unfortunately, I question some of the decisions that this country is making when it comes immigration and the acceptance of those who want to come to the land of opportunity.

Diversity is perhaps the most appealing reason why this country is so dear to me. Being able to go to a city and see all of the diverse members of that society is something that is amazing and not as prominent in any other nation. To take that away, is nothing more than a disservice to the future of this nation.

Unfortunately, this nation has not always been the best when it comes to the treatment of immigrants (Alien and Sedition Acts, Espionage and Sedition Acts, imprisonment of Japanese citizens during WWII and many different quotas that were placed throughout our history to restrict the entrance of immigrants).

One can only hope that the future of this nation is not defined by the racism and the apathy of those who hold power currently.

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