Proyecto Mis Raíces: Support Us to Continue Defying Borders

For: Group of 11 awesome people
Organizer: Maria Gonzalez
$2,330
of $5,000 goal.
Raised by 45 donors
46% Complete
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The Story

My name is Andrea Guadalupe Rosales Sierra. I am a 27 year old undocumented, queer muxer currently residing in Chicago. I was born in Celaya, Guanajuato and migrated to the U.S. at the age of five with my mom and older brother.

I often find it difficult to put my story into words, especially in sharing the part of my life as an undocumented woman living in the U.S. At times, there is a visceral fear of the unknown, or a nostalgia of a time and a place you barely remember now. And, perhaps most commonly, feeling like you are missing out on significant life experiences-- on what could be If...

Growing up undocumented is not easy. Becoming an adult while undocumented is not any easier. I realize I have been able to access many amazing opportunities because of caring and generous folks I have met along the way, because I live in Chicago (a more liberal city than others), and because of the endless sacrifices of my parents. It is because of all the aforementioned reasons (and a little bit of luck) as to why I have been able to go to school and graduate with a Bachelor’s in Sociology and Latino/Latina Studies. But most importantly, I have been able to empower myself in order to be able to pave the way for future generations.

That is why I work so hard to be able to help other young undocumented people. I currently work in a high school and help moderate the undocumented student club. In them, I see many of the same issues I encountered at their age: the struggle of not being able to afford your dream school, having to choose between a practical career as opposed to your dream career, the struggle of not wanting to let your family down, having family members in deportation proceedings and experiencing separation for months at a time, and the struggle to maintain a healthy mental state of mind all through out. This is the reason why I have been so outspoken about immigrant rights and the multiple other identities that intersect when achieving true social justice for our communities.

If granted the opportunity to visit Mexico, I would be re-learning much of the history and current socio- political struggles up close and personal. I would also be meeting a small portion of the place I was born. It has been beautiful to see the communities I belong to follow me on this journey,  in pursuit of my own self- liberation, as I continue to learn and expand my experiences, so that I may continue to support and push for opportunities for others that follow.  

Thank you for reading and thank you for your support.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on November 25, 2016

Posted on November 25, 2016

Maggie's Story
Your support is greatly appreciated. 

My name is Magdalena Lizbeth Gonzalez-Hernandez. At the age of two my father took the harsh decision to come to the United States, leaving his wife, and three kids behind. After almost five years of separation and realizing our economical situation in Mexico was not improving; he went back to Mexico City and brought us all with him to the United States, where he saw better opportunities for us.

While attending elementary school  I did not realize my status in this country as undocumented would affect my career goals. During my last year of highschool and throughout my involvement in community organizations I realized that I couldn’t obtain a driver's license like all my other friends. I couldn’t go job hunting with them because I was missing that little small paper with the nine numbers, a social security card.  Soon enough, I was faced with the reality that my undocumented status in the United States did not allow me to accept a full ride scholarship to the University of my choice or obtain a high paying job.  I realized that my path towards graduation, or obtaining a job was not going to be similar to those of my friends. I did not know how I was going to attend college or pay for my tuition. All I knew is that I wanted to obtain my bachelors degree.

Through my involvement with community organizations I was able to find the comfort, support and guidance towards attending University and finding a job. It has been through community organizations that I met individuals that have found themselves in struggles similar to mine. Knowing that  I was not alone brought my hopes back up. This is why I have committed myself to continue helping the youth at community organizations who have found themselves confused and without hopes due to their status in the U.S.  

At the moment I have been selected for a once in a lifetime opportunity to attend a seminar in Mexico under advance parole. This opportunity will not only increase my knowledge with Mexico culture and help me obtain experience which will set me aside from other candidates for future jobs.  This experience will also allow for me to visit my family that I have not seen for more than 18 years. I will be able to see my family members whom I can only recall their faces from the memories I have from when I was little.  I will also be able to visit the graves of my loved family members who unfortunately passed away not many years ago; with me being far away and not being able to go to their funerals.This opportunity will also help me be in a better standing to legalize my status. My goal is to be able to attend this trip and come back with the experience and knowledge that will allow me to help others attend a similar seminar under advance parole.

I want to thank you for taking the time to get to know a bit more about why this trip means so much to me.


Posted on November 25, 2016

Posted on November 25, 2016

Janeth's Story
We really appreciate all of your support. 

Hello everyone, my name is Janeth Vazquez. I was six years old when my father came to the land of opportunity in search of the American dream. After my father realized the struggles we were facing in Mexico, he decided to reunite our family by bringing us to the United States. I came to the United States at age eight, along with my mother and brother. I have been living in the United States for 14 years. Due to our immigration status, we have not had the opportunity to go travel to Mexico to see our family.  

During the time I have been in the United States, I have been involved in my community. I first joined an organization in 2010 called Nuestra Voz (Our Voice), which helped students, including undocumented students, to fight for their right to higher education. With Nuestra Voz, we organized communities for the Federal DREAM Act, and the Illinois DREAM Act. With the knowledge I gained in Nuestra Voz, I have been able to inform undocumented students about their college opportunities in this country. I have been able to achieve my dream of graduating college with the help of my parents, friends, and community. After Nuestra Voz, I have continue my passion for social justice by being involved in immigrant rights organizations. I am currently involved with Salud Sin Papeles. Salud Sin Papeles is a grassroots project run by volunteers from the community who are undocumented or who have seen how the immigration system affects other members of their community. I am also a board member of P.A.S.O. (Proyecto de Acción de los Suburbios del Oeste), a community organization that advocates for immigrants and their rights.

The work that immigrant activists have fought, has been reflected in our community through a program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA has giving me and other youth a temporary relief from deportation, the ability to obtain a work permit, and in Illinois, the opportunity to receive a valid driver’s license. Beyond having all of this, DACA gives me the chance to travel outside the United States through Advance Parole under three occasions: Employment, humanitarian, and education. I have had the honor to connect with other 11 DACA recipients and apply for Advance Parole under educational purposes. I been accepted to participate in the academic seminar, “Analysis of the Economic and Social Situation in Mexico, in the process of Economic Integration of North America.” The Seminar will be held in Mexico City, Mexico on December 16, 17 and 18 of 2016. The seminar is organized by the Center for the Analysis of Economic, Political and Social Circumstances, of the Faculty of Economics at UNAM, by the Center for Treatment and Support of Migrants (CAAM), by ENLACE Chicago, and by the Mexico City-USA Initiative. I hope to learn and bring back knowledge to about Mexico’s education system and migration to my community.

Today, I am asking you to contribute to my dream and those of my friends whom are eager to not only attend the seminar, but also reunite with their loved ones in Mexico.

Any questions, I can be reached at: [email protected]

Thank you,

Janeth


Posted on November 25, 2016

Posted on November 25, 2016

Edy's Story
Thank you so much to everyone who has made a donation.

I’m Edy Angel Domínguez Quezadas and  I came to Chicago from México to reunite with my parents and siblings in the year 2000. Back home my grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends still wait for my return just as I promised them so many years ago. I have no idea when this will be. Unfortunately, some of them I will never be able to hug again as is the case of a few uncles and both of my grandfathers.

I was a 15 year old teenager and even though I was reunited with my family, I was frustrated for the drastic change and the difficulty to accept all my life was left behind miles and miles away... To be honest, I was very upset with my parents for bringing me to this strange place. In high school, I struggled so much picking up the new language and lived in shock for a long time trying to accept “my new place”, but nevertheless I excelled despite my own expectations.

Against all odds, including the lack of economic resources, my family difficulties, and my psychological struggle, I graduated from Holy Trinity High School in 2003 and enrolled at Northeastern Illinois University, where I obtained a Bachelor’s Degree of Liberal Arts in Communication, Media, and Theater. From my experience, during that time the conversation about being undocumented was basically null, and it wasn’t until 2010 that the youth movement for Immigration Reform and the DREAM Act really emerged.

I got involved and worked with friends in the neighborhood of the Back of the Yards to bring this conversation to the forefront.  We began organizing the community to attend marches and demonstrations in order to bring awareness and push for immigration reform. We registered voters and brought information to residents so they could become US Citizens. My community was no longer silent. I still remember that time at church, which was full to its capacity that morning, when I said from the podium “Raise your hand if you are undocumented”.  Suddenly all of these hands began going up, even people I’d never imagined would be in the same situation as me. That encouraged me to get involved further in activism, which gave me the opportunity to meet so many courageous undocumented students not only from the city of Chicago but around the country. Together, we advocated for our cause locally and in Washington D.C. Later, in 2012 I helped found the Dreamers and Allies Run scholarship for undocumented students of my neighborhood. Since then, I’m committed to support in any way I can those who in one way or another are silent or still live in the shadows.

Now, after so many years myself and others have a good opportunity to participate in an educational program with the National Autonomous University of Mexico. This gives us a golden opportunity to travel to México and learn about our roots, social movements, economic development, etc., but also the great privilege to visit our family whom we haven’t seen for countless years and come back to the US where we have built our lives. You can help make this a reality.  Your financial support means everything to us. We would be eternally grateful for it as it offers the chance to reconnect with something we hold so dear to our hearts.

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