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The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

68 year old immigrant shares her experience immigrating

Manuel Gomez
(left to right) Roxy Gomez, and her daughter Nancy Gomez, Anaheim California 1983; Eight years after she immigrated.

In a state like California, It is extremely common to meet someone who’s Immigrated or comes from a non-American family. However, many do not know how people immigrate or why.

Nobody would know better than an immigrant; Aura ‘Roxy’ Gomez. Roxy is a first-generation Guatemalan immigrant, immigrating back in 1975. She has first-hand experience of going from dirt broke to raising a family and having a stable source of income.

“I immigrated because I wanted a better life,” Roxy said “I didn’t want to end up broke like everyone I knew. I sold bleach on the streets starting from your age.”

Aura had always wanted to have a good education and money, but her home country did not have what she desired. Ever since she was younger she wanted to become a nurse. This contributed to her decision to immigrate.

“I knew what was best for me and my future.” Gomez had said.

Her family protested her leaving. Mostly out of fear; many people died on their ways to the states – in cars and buses, from assassinations to heat exhaustion.

“Nothing was set in stone or certain, I could’ve died right when I crossed the border and they wouldn’t know,” Aura said. “My mom watched me go on the bus that was going to take me here.”

When Roxy was on the bus, her mother watched her leave with tears streaming down her face. She feared for her daughter. Though, Roxy was adamant on becoming a nurse.

However, in order to be a nurse in the states she had to study english.

“It was the hardest part about being in the states, I was never given the opportunity to study english in my home country.” Roxy said.

Despite the struggles Aura had faced initially, she overcame them. She studied english fiercely, determined to make her dreams a reality.

“I had to make some adjustments. So I practiced english the best I could,” Aura said. “I also adjusted my respect for the people who already lived here. There was a big cultural shock.”

Gomez had felt as if she had to respect every person who was born in the states as an immigrant. She said it was to show gratefulness for the country.

“They accepted me with open arms,” Roxy said “ I had faced some racism while here, but everyone who lives here deserves respect. I am very thankful for this country.”

Though she had loved the country, she still of course missed her family. She tried to contact them whenever the opportunity arose.

“Back then, Communicating was much harder.” Gomez had said “I couldn’t call them much – We had to contact eachother mostly through letters.”

Eventually, Aura was able to visit her mother after making money. Despite all the ups and downs aura couldn’t be more happy with immigrating. She was able to pursue her education and become a nurse. She worked so hard to get where she is, Even starting a family.

“I have no regrets, I’m so happy could make it to this country” Roxy said “I was able to give my children and I a better future – I made the right choice”


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About the Contributor
Gray Lee, Podcast Editor
Gray Lee is a freshman at Santa Rosa Academy. She is 14 years old. This is her first year as a journalist! Gray takes English, Spanish and Graphic Design at SRA. In her future, she intends to pursue being a genetic engineer. Gray has a plan to attend an Ivy League College after high school.  Her dream schools include Cal Poly University, Yale University, Brown, and Harvard. She would also love to go to university in England. Gray’s parents were both immigrants that came to this country -- her mom is from Guatemala and her stepdad is from Italy. In Gray’s free time, she enjoys traditional art, baking, sports, and costume design. Gray also enjoys instruments. She is currently playing the piano and guitar.  Music is also a big part of Gray’s life. Her favorite artists are Tyler the Creator and Tv Girl, her favorite album is also Wolf by Tyler the Creator.  Gray’s favorite movies include The Spiderverse trilogy, The Trueman Show, and Harry Potter. Her favorite tv show is South Park.  Writing and reading are huge passions of Gray’s. It is one of the reasons she chose to enroll in Journalism this year. Gray has always loved literature and been advanced in writing, so she felt that Journalism would be a great opportunity for her to showcase her writing skills. Gray hopes that she can expand on her writing skills and learn more about journalistic writing. 
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  • S

    SkyeOct 19, 2023 at 12:38 pm

    OMG Gray your story is soo good and soo inspiring!!

    • G

      Gray LeeOct 20, 2023 at 11:40 am

      Thank you so much Skye!