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My name is Lidya. I was born in Miami, and I am sixteen years old. I was raised and influenced by Mexicans. They are my family. Before I begin writing about myself, let me introduce you to my family. My parents are Humberto and Maria. I have an older brother named Humberto Jr., who is 22 years old and goes to college in Kentucky. I have two sisters Rosemary, who is 19 years old, and Julie, who is 7 years old. My parents were raised in Matamoros, Mexico. I have been there twice in my whole life. It's a fun place to go. My parents came to live in Florida as soon as my brother was born. At that time, they still traveled to work on farms to work in the agricultural fields. My parents have influenced me through many ways. They tell me that when they were young they had to work really hard to make money. As a result, they did not graduate from high school, in order to support our family. My parents still work in agriculture, but it is not as hard as in the late 1970s and early 1980s. That is why I am still in school and getting an education because I do not want to work in these same fields. I am someone that my parents did not get to be, because I am going to graduate from high school and attend college like my brother Humberto Jr. I also want to make them proud of me. Now let me tell you a little something about myself.
Soccer is my favorite sport. That is what I do for my hobby and spare time. I like to play soccer. Everyday I practice with my team. I also enjoy listening to Mexican music. My favorite group is "Mazziso," who are from Texas. I like to eat all sorts of Mexican foods. I am most known as a person who is positive in everything that I do. I also like to dance to Mexican music and hang out with my friends. Some things that I do when I hang out with my friends are talk about things that happen to us, give advice, and take some advice. From my group I am the one who likes to take risks and have fun. We call ourselves Las Sonadoras, some people know us that way. We named ourselves Las Sonadoras from a Mexican soap opera. We are out-going girls that support each other in everything possible. Finally, I am a family-oriented person. For example, I am the comedian in my family. I enjoy making my family laugh, and I enjoy doing activities with my family.
The way I see the Mexican Culture Influences: we, Mexicans, have gained progress throughout the United States. For example: the Mexican people have many politicians, athletes, actors, singers, teachers, soldiers, and business owners, such as restaurants. These influences make Mexicans have pride about themselves and also more self-esteem. We have come a long way; although, ironically, Mexicans have been here in the United States even before there was a United States.
This was an interview conducted by Lidya of a Mexican shopkeeper, Soila Gallegos, in Homestead, Florida. This interview illustrates the achievement of a former migrant farm laborer in a small business enterprise in Homestead, Florida. Through her interview we can see that it is possible to achieve the American dream and to capitalize on this country's diversity in order to be successful.
Q: Where were you born?
A: Matamoros, Tamaulipas (Mexico)
Q: How old were you when you came to the United States?
A: I was 7 years old at the time.
Q: Why did you and your family come to the United States?
A: To fulfill our American dreams.
Q: Where did you live and grow up when your family arrived?
A: South Dade Migrant Labor Camp (Homestead, Florida)
Q: How was life there?
A: Hard, because my family and I had to travel to agricultural farms in order to put food on the table.
Q: How far did you go with your education?
A: I graduated from high school.
Q: What is the name of your Store?
A: Acapulco Records & Video.
Q: Why did you open your store?
A: To provide something better for my children.
Q: How long have you been open?
A: I have been opened for 17 years.
Q: Who are your customers?
A: Mainly Mexican-Americans or people who have just arrived from Mexico.
Q: Which groups or musicians sell the best here in Homestead, Florida?
A: Nortena (music from Northern Mexico) and Grupera (Tex-Mex)
Q: Does this business make money?
A: Of course it does because there are many people here that buy our merchandise
Q: Is your business growing?
A: Yes it is growing.
Q: What do you like about this business?
A: I like this business because I work with my own people and help them with information they need.
Q: Does your family have other businesses?
A: Yes, they do.
Q: What other kinds of jobs did you have before opening your business?
A: When I was single I had a job in a clothing store.
Q: When you were a teenager could you buy Mexican records?
A: No, I couldn't afford them.
Q: When you were a teenager could you listen to Mexican radio stations?
A: No, because there were no Mexican radio stations.
Q: When you were a teenager could you read a Latino newspaper or magazine?
A: No because there were no newspapers or magazines.
Q: Is there currently a local Latin paper?
A: Yes its called La Voz.
Q: When you were growing up as a teenager did you go to Mexican dances?
Q: When you were growing up as a teenager did you go to Mexican concerts?
A: No, I could afford them.
Q: In your opinion, how does the future look for your Mexican- American artists?
A: The future looks very promising. We can promote our Mexican culture through television, radio, newspapers, and magazines.
Q: Would you encourage young Mexican-Americans to keep their culture?
A: Yes, because it is important to know who you are and where your family comes from. Keeping your culture and your roots is very important.