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One Neighbor's Story


Hi, my name is Marcos Morales.I’m glad to share my story with the Radio Readers Book Club.  I have been here in southwest of Kansas since November of 2003.  I am from Guatemala from a little poor place. I came here because my dad brought me here in U.S.A.  He’s here with me.  I came here because I thought I had more opportunity than living in my country because when I was younger what I thought was to go to school to have a career, improve myself so that’s one of the reasons that I came.  And that’s what I am doing right now.

I am trying to do something with my life.  It was hard for me when I came on the road. It was really hard, but now what I’m doing is – at first when I came here it was hard for me because I didn’t even speak English.  My first language was K’iche’ – it is like Mayan.  I can say that I’m Mayan, probably.  I am mixed probably. But my first language was K’iche’ and Spanish I learned in school in Guatemala.  And, then, well, it was hard for me here because  I didn’t speak English, but by the time I went to school, well, that’s how I learned  English and right now I speak English and  I am really proud of that what I have done here in this country.   And, thanks to Miss Greta, she has been helping me with my language and that’s what I’m going right now.

What I do right now, that’s – It was a good thing that I went to school and I learned English because right now I could say I am working for myself.  I work independent.  I do translator for the district court; I do translator for immigration. I help the community out with their problems.  I could say I help people resolve their problems. At the same time I am making money honestly. That’s pretty much my life in southwest Kansas.

And one of the reasons that I stay here is because of the school.  The school is close to my house.  And I have made a lot of friends.  I have a lot of friends here in Dodge and now I have friends almost everywhere – all over southwest Kansas, Kansas City. I could say I have friends in California and everywhere now.  I have made good friends with people and I like it.  That’s why I stay here in Dodge.  I like it.

The first time – I never thought I would get a high school diploma here.  I never thought about that.  When I first started going to school, I just wanted to learn English because I wanted to make friends.  I wanted to make good friends with people --  American people who only speak English.  Before when I didn’t speak English, my goal is, Wow, I would like to speak with that guy or say hi to that girl or to say, “Hey!” or “Hi, where are you going?” or things like that.  So that’s why I started to go to school. But by the time I learned English little bit – not 100% but a little bit, I decided to go back to finish my high school diploma. And that’s what I did. It was hard.  It took me a little bit longer, but I made it.  And I made it working and school, working and school, working and school – That’s what I have been doing here in town.  That’s the main thing I like.. I could say I have been doing it by myself.  It’s a big experience for me because I know what I have been through.  I’m so proud of myself, too.