My Parents' Identification Papers
My Mother's Heritage
by Courtney Almeida
My mother's trip started when my grandparents wanted to come to the United States. At the time they were living in St. Michaels, Portugal. My mother traveled here with her mother, father, older sister, older brother and newborn younger brother. My mother was only five years old at this time, yet she remembers it clearly. She was scared coming to a new country yet excited on experiencing new adventures. Neither my mother nor her family members spoke the native language, English. They would have to learn quickly in order to adapt. My mother's family came to live in Fall River, Massachusetts. They came here hoping to earn a better living. My mother and her family came to the United States in 1965, and they still live here today, still remembering the day they immigrated.
My Father's Heritage
My father's trip here was a bit different from my mother's. He came here with his mother, aunts, uncles, and cousins. There weren't many children traveling with him because he was an only child. My father's dad didn't come to the United States because he didn't want to leave his work behind. My father and his family also lived in St. Michaels, Portugal. His family immigrated here for family reasons. They came to join relatives who had told them that it was better here than in Portugal. My father was eleven at the time of his immigration, which meant that he had already started school in Portugal and it was harder for him to adapt to the language and schools here. He also lived in Fall River, Massachusetts. He and his family have all done well after their immigration to the U.S.
Portugal is a country in the West of Europe. Portugal today has basically remained an agricultural country. Two thirds of the country's area is under cultivation. The production of fruits and vegetables has been increasing rapidly. Industry is an important factor for Portugal and its natives. Also, manufacturing industries bring in many jobs. Temperatures can rise to 104°F in Portugal during the summer, but the climate there is usually pleasing. The sea plays a big part in Portugal's history. A large number of men are engaged in the fishing industry, which provides food for many others around the country. Houses in the country are generally low lying and close to the ground. These houses are basically built of granite, have tilted roofs, large windows, and small chimneys. Most families live with many or all of their relatives. For entertainment, people watch bull fighting, go to feasts, and can travel to many museums. Portugal is a very interesting place to visit. This is where my family comes from.
Above: Portuguese Currency
Below: The Village of St. Michaels
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