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From Danger to Dreams

by Elizabeth Leiva Quintanilla

Everyone has a different story regarding coming to this country. For many it was difficult, and for others, it was easy.

It was a normal day. Suddenly, an opportunity to come to the United States came. Before I knew it, I headed out of my home country, Honduras. The journey started off by crossing two countries on foot, by car, and also by cargo truck. My feet felt like they had fallen off. They had never felt like that before. We walked for three days nonstop, and we had not had food or water. We crossed over a river and fields. At many points during my journey, I wanted to go back home. It was a risky trip for me as a nineteen-year-old girl.

I traveled with my cousin, and in a matter of nine days, we were at the Mexico border. Getting there, however, was one of the most dangerous experiences I’ve ever had. Suddenly, we were in front of a desert, and no one was around. We stayed there for two nights. All I could think about was my family and whether I would ever be able to make it back to them. I had hopes of new opportunities. We then crossed the border into the United States of America.

Time here seemed to go by fast. I lived in Texas for about two months. Everything was a huge change. I then moved to Virginia, but at that time I did not have the opportunity — I worked for a period of time, but soon after I found love, and a new chapter of my life started.

Along this journey, I have learned and strongly believe that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes there’s a point where you realize that the years have passed, and all your dreams and your goals have been left unfulfilled – even those that were within reach.

Sometimes, thoughts come to our minds that we can’t make it. Some people have had everything since they were born, and other people have to fight for what they need throughout their lives. We often have to sacrifice everything many times. When you think it is impossible to achieve, just remember that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything. Everyone has a gift, but most people don’t know how to put it to use. How you grew up shouldn’t interfere with your dreams. Also, don’t compare yourself with others. These thoughts may bring you down and you may never try.

I have learned to stay focused. I am now trying to become the better version of myself. Something to keep in mind is to not blame your surroundings if something doesn’t go your way. Be who you want to be.