Yobanka Nunez



I remember my childhood vividly while living in Guayaqui, Ecuador. I remember the singing of the crickets at night, the smell of yerba Buena and the Boleros in the background. I was maybe five at the time and also remember that my father would come visit from time to time. My parents were getting divorced at time. Soon enough I remember packing bags to travel to West New York, New Jersey, to live in my grandparent’s house. Once here mom found a job almost immediately. She would work double shifts and attempted to go to college to learn business administration. But she would be so exhausted from work she would come home and collapse on the sofa. She always made time for us by taking us to the pool in the summer and going shopping with us. She would always call us after school to make sure we were obeying our grandparents and we had done our homework. Education was a primary concern for her. She always said that we should aspire to more than a factory job.

As I got older I did well in school. I was always studying and wanted to please her. I am the oldest of three children. We all went to college. Today thanks to the efforts of my hard working mother, Norma, I am able to say that I have a degree and teaching license. My sister is a graphic artist and my brother is a manager. We would not be there today without the sacrifices and hard work my mother had to endure in this country. She did it without even speaking English. I remember she would go to the school and go to all the meetings. She would make an effort to ask questions and help us succeed. She was there always for us even when she was working a double shift. I always saw her working extra hard especially during the Christmas season and she filled that Christmas tree with all the trinkets and toys. We never missed out on anything and she made sure she provided for us and that we were taken care of always along with the help of my grandparents who helped in the struggle.

Women are strong in every respect and sometimes they have to do it alone. But the fight is all worth it in the end. I know my mother comes from a long line of strong women and I continue their legacy. I want to say that it is still difficult to make in the United States but with a good education the sky is the limit.

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