Maria: I came here because I love this country. I came here to see my sister. I was in Mexico and I came crossing the river. The Rio Bravo. It was dangerous. It was hard. But I came here because the life is better than my country. This is a blessed country. I love this country.
I find good job. I have a good life here because now I can help the people. When the people have problems, they ask me what they need to do to solve their problems. Can I help them.
One year ago, I wondered if I could get my documents. I had a problem with domestic violence. Can I get my documents to be legal in this country? I am grateful with that. I am grateful with the government because they can help me to be legal in this country.
Greta: Was your domestic violence situation in Kansas? In the United States or was it in Mexico?
Maria: Here in the United States.
Greta: So, you took the dangerous path of crossing the river to come here and then you had a problem with domestic violence? So you were able to overcome that dangerous trip and then the dangerous living situation and now you have a good job and good documents and a good lie?
Maria: Yes. Yes.
Greta: What do you think about the people in Dodge City and southwest Kansas?
Maria: Oh, the people are good peo9ple. They have a good education. In Mexico, you can say, “Hi,” to people and the people don’t say, “Hello.” Sometimes the people are angry. If you look at the people, they people say, “Why are you looking at me?” In this country, in this state, no. Dodge City is good people, great people.
Greta: How did you learn such good English?
Maria: How? I studied English in Bright Beginnings. I was there two years. The next level, I came to the Community College.
Greta: Do you speak English in your job every day?
Maria: Yes, mam. I do.
Greta: Well, we thank you for sharing your personal story with High Plains Public Radio’s Radio Readers Book Club.