At the Hands & Hearts fundraiser on January 26, 2013, client Marvin shared, in his own words, his harrowing journey to the United States and the compassion and support he found at La Posada.
When I was 15-years-old, I decided to travel to the United States to look for a better life. In my country, I had a very hard life and it was impossible to survive. I had no opportunities and I wanted a better future for myself. I wanted to study and go to school. I had many problems at home. My parents always fought with me and told me they didn’t want to see me anymore. They would often hit me and didn’t support my dreams. They never gave me a hug and never loved me. There was never any food at my house for me. Many times I thought about killing myself because no one loved me.
I decided to come here by myself. I brought nothing with me. I survived the journey by asking people for help along the way. I slept in the street or in parks. Some days, I would eat and others days, I would not. But I continued on my journey. I traveled by foot and by riding on the top of trains. The trip was very dangerous. Once, it was very cold and I had nothing to cover myself with. My body was shaking and my muscles were tense. I tried to jump from the train but fell and was almost pulled under the train’s wheels. Other times, I was assaulted by people along the way. It took one month to travel from Guatemala to the United States.
I arrived in November 2010 by swimming across the river by myself. I lived for one year in Laredo and worked in a tire shop helping a mechanic. I lived alone and slept in the back of the shop. During that year, I decided to look for another place to live and tried heading to Houston by train. In Corpus Christi, I was caught by Immigration. I spent eight months in a detention center for children and then three months in adult detention. After those 11 months, I was able to leave and I couldn’t believe that I was finally granted freedom. I was so surprised and so happy to finally be free.
On June 24, 2012, I arrived at La Posada. I didn’t know any English, but was interested in learning as much as I could. I was grateful to have a place to stay, food and the opportunity to study. Since I have been at La Posada, I have learned so many things. My dream is to continue my studies and become a lawyer. That is my dream and I will continue to do everything I can to accomplish it. In this beautiful country, I will not be left behind and I will not forget my dreams.
I’m very thankful for the love and support of the Sisters. They have helped me so much. The love that my parents never gave me, I have received here. La Posada is a good place full of love and hope. Thank you for caring about immigrants and may God bless you.