SAN LUCAS DE OCAMPO, Dgo.-Little by little the memories are coming and with them the images of past times, some good, others not so much, but in the end they have been lived experiences.
Ana María Aguilar De Young, originally from the town of San Lucas de Ocampo, Durango arrived in her land, after not having been in her community for a long time.
At the age of 7, Ana Maria, 5 siblings, her mother and an uncle crossed the border from Mexico with the United States in an undocumented manner; “We did it with great fear, it was very hard and traumatic, without knowing the language, but wanting to get ahead”.
Arriving in that country meant the confrontation of two worlds, “one where we could not survive and the other where they did not accept us,” Ana María described.
As a child, at that time her world was reduced to attending classes and helping her mother at home. Going to school was reaching the scene of an undeclared war where it was a constant daily struggle to survive.
“My classmates would bully us, and the teachers forbade us to speak Spanish, they always reminded us that we are in the United States and only English is spoken here”; this, he asserted, “was a permanent fight where the most important thing was to get the best out of it to return the next day and face another battle.
This he said, was throughout his life as a student, both in elementary, middle and high school.
His strength to continue, he assured has always been Jesus Christ; “He was the only one who always with his love helped us to move forward and continues to do so.”
But survival was not only only in school and the streets, it was also in his own home, since there was never enough to eat.
“We were 5 brothers from Mexico and another 3 were born in the United States; my father’s work as a painter was not enough to put food on the table and my mother worked a lot at home, “and added,” there were times when we didn’t eat and went to bed without food, it was hard.
He said that praying was his best refuge, “little by little we got better.”
Ana María continued to grow and entered public schools at its various levels. However, the constant remained, that is, the discrimination due to her language and origin, which literally became a battlefield, where her faith and love of God was her armor to withstand the attacks of those who tried to humiliate her for not be equal to them; “We were just different.”
Time passed, and Ana María’s life was not without bad experiences, some at school and others in the neighborhood where gangs, drugs and prostitution abounded.
“There was violence and drug use everywhere, it was very difficult, we were always afraid, but my faith in God helped me get ahead.”
The outlook for Ana María’s family was not at all flattering, on the one hand, the daily effort gave some fruits, but on the other, the uncertainty of being in an undefined immigration status made them more vulnerable.
Time passed, and during the administration of then President Ronald Regan the amnesty came and with it the panorama changed and they managed to legalize their situation and with it better job opportunities.
Along the way, Ana María had a divorce that left her with bad experiences, but also a lot of learning that prompted her to keep her faith in God and she realized that she was the instrument for great projects.
With the legal security that the amnesty granted her, Ana María began to design new plans and carry out projects that would keep her in contact with her people, the ones she only remembered from family stories and whom she longed to meet in person.
His first project, he had already thought about it for some years, began with his parents’ old property in San Lucas de Ocampo, where he already started working on it.
The idea, explained Ana María, “is to build an internet café with a library with Bibles so that those who come to use the services can also read them and start their own life projects”.
Edgar Haro, religious minister and resident of that place, said he joined the cause and be part of this project.
“We see in the sister a fervent desire to help the community, and this project will help young people in their education, but it will also keep them busy and with good foundations to cultivate their family and religious principles”.
For his part, José Dimas Mendoza, president of the San Lucas de Ocampo Local Board, spoke about the projects to be carried out with the support of Ana María and the community.
“For us the participation of the community is important and with efforts such as that of Mrs. Ana María and her people we can achieve a lot, because her project will help the community, especially young people who require these spaces to continue learning.”
Mendoza said that they are already working on other projects such as cleaning the cemetery, as well as garbage collection in spaces that are necessary for the community to carry out coexistence activities.
For her part, Ana María announced that the projects to be carried out in the coming months will seek to involve people from Durango abroad as a way to unify efforts to support a common cause that is San Lucas de Ocampo.
By Luis Ángel Galván Peimberth