The book The Distance Between Us: A Memoir by Reyna Grande provides an account of Reyna Grande’s life in Mexico and later in the United States. When she is two, her father leaves the family for the United States hoping to earn money for building a house in Mexico. Later, he sends for their mother, Juana, leaving behind three children – Reyna, Mago, and Carlos. The children experience abject poverty and others hardships under the unforgiving care of their paternal grandmother, Abuela Evila (Tobar). Her mother returns with another child, Elizabeth, and establishes an on-again and off-again relationship. Later, their father, for whom they have almost forgotten, returns and takes them on a terrifying journey to the United States ' border (Grande 317). Overall, the book narrates a child’s journey to overcome poverty and deal with the absence of parents through forgiveness and love. Reyna, Mago, and Carlos face various hardships while growing up in Iguala, Guerrero, in Mexico. The primary challenge that they face is poverty. In the 1950s and 60s, even though the country’s economical situation began to improve after the Great Depression, there was still massive unemployment, the inability of the government to provide proper education, and the devaluation of the peso that increased the economic burden in Mexico (Kehor and Meza). Therefore, their parents leave for the United States for better opportunities. Their grandmother has the sole responsibility of providing basic needs to her
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The second to youngest of the Grande children, Reyna, who is much more of a supportive friend than is a sister, would always boost everyone’s confidence in the memoir. Therefore, it gives confidence to everyone in order to succeed. Reyna was always the most baby in the memoir but Mago changed that and taught her how to be brave in the time of need. Reyna looks up to Mago the most because Mago is the only one who notices what she does. Carlos supports Reyna, but he’s also going on away trips to find a decent father role model. Mago once told Reyna that, “it doesn’t matter that there’s a distance between us now. That cord is there forever” (21). Mago wasn’t Reyna’s real mom; she tried her best to be the best she could be for not only Reyna but for Carlos and Betty too.
Enrique’s journey from Honduras to the U.S. unveils the innate loyalty of a loving child to their mother and presents the dangers that a migrant faces on the road with consistent angst; nevertheless, it supports the idea that compassion shown by some strangers can boost the retreating confidence within a person. In Sonia Nazario’s “Enrique’s Journey,” he seeks the beacon of light that all migrants hope to encounter; “El Norte.” Like many children before him, it is the answer to the problems of a hard life. While being hunted down “like animals” leading to “seven futile attempts,” he is
Each year, thousands of Central American immigrants embark on a dangerous journey from Mexico to the United States. Many of these migrants include young children searching for their mothers who abandoned them. In Enrique’s Journey, former Los Angeles Times reporter, Sonia Nazario, recounts the compelling story of Enrique, a young Honduran boy desperate to reunite with his mother. Thanks to her thorough reporting, Nazario gives readers a vivid and detailed account of the hardships faced by these migrant children.
When Alma and her family move to America, they begin their new life in a place that is strange and confusing, one that is unaccommodating, and causes Alma’s misery and guilt to almost overwhelm her. After the Rivera’s first day in America, they find their appartment and try to go to sleep. Arturo and her daughter Maribel fall asleep right away, but Alma lays awake in bed, wondering to herself if they ”had... done the right thing, coming here?” (6). In the morning, they wake up, confused, “bewildered, and disorientated, glancing at one another, darting [their] gazes from wall to wall. And then we remembered. Delaware. Over three thousand kilometers from our home in Pátzuco. Three thousand kilometers and a world away” (6). Alma and Arturo left their home, not because they wanted to come to America, but because they wanted to be able to help their daughter, Maribel. She had an accident that caused a traumatic brain injury, and Alma feels that the accident is her fault, and has been consumed with grief ever since. Although the Riveras came to America to help Maribel, Alma still wonders to herself if it was the
In this story, Sonia Nazario recounts how a Honduran boy called Enrique passed many dangerous situations in his travel to the United States in order to finally meet with his mother. Enrique began his travel to the United States eleven years after his mother left him in Honduras. Enrique faced gangsters, bandits and corrupt police officers when he was in the train called “El Tren de la Muerte”. The only thing that he was carrying was his mother’s phone number. But Enrique never gave up. Enrique’s courage, hope and help from strangers make him achieved his goal… meet with his mother.
Sonia Sanchez taught me that it’s possible to not let my pain hold me from being the best that I can be. She taught me to take my past full of pain, make it great and use the talents that I have now to change this planet and become a creator of social values. I learned to have an unshakeable strength, a persevering courage and to be a fighter. I learned that I am capable of achieving the greatest things if I put my mind to it. How well I do is in my hands not in a past that can drag me down. Just like Sonia asked her teacher if she had any talent, and the teacher answered saying: “Yes, you have talent, now let’s see whether you are going to do anything with it”. She answered to the call and I am determined to answer the call too. She changed
The award-winning novelist and memoirist as well as author of Across a Hundred Mountains has written an inspiring memoir that will reach out and touch the reader's hearts. The Distance Between Us is about a four-year-old girl from Iguala, Mexico who lives in extreme poverty. Her father left to go to the US when she was two years old to earn money and build a house. Later on, when Reyna was four her mother had left to go help her father, and this left Reyna and her three siblings with their grandmother who wasn’t as pleasant as you would expect. As the story progresses forward, readers can see their living conditions how they aren't getting properly fed and some of the traumatic events that they witness such as people dying in front of them or people with rare illnesses. Soon after her mother comes back to Mexico, the children realize that their father had left her for another woman and their mother had brought back a new baby with her. After this, their father comes to Mexico, and brings Reyna and her two siblings back to the US with them. Living their lives in the US was not as easy as they thought because of the language barrier and their father drinking all day long and getting constantly abused by him almost every day. for small things. Eventually, Reyna pursues her education and finds sanctuary in reading books and writing stories. She was the first person in her family to graduate from college and pursue her dreams. Because of this, she has inspired many people around this world. Overall Reyna Grande successfully tells us about how immigration impacted her life and her family’s life using features such as the honest truth, both internal and external conflict, graphic imagery, and a sad and bittersweet tone to reflect upon all of her life experiences. Because of this, she convinces the readers about the toll immigration took on their family.
In the book, “The Distance Between Us,” Reyna Grande describes the way life changes for her sister Mago and brother Carlos when their mother Jauna came back from United States after two and half years. Reyna, Mago and Carlos stayed at their grandmother’s (dad’s mom) house at Iguala while their mother was in El Otro Lado (USA). Reyna, Mago and Carlos was so excited to see mom after long time.
It was at this time that the value of Mexico’s currency, the peso, had been devalued. While the peso’s value was lowered, the prices on consumer goods were raised. To make matters worse, worker’s wages were kept the same, leading to a higher cost of living. Some people had been unfortunate and lost their job. Looking for a higher pay, people began to either take on more jobs or look for them elsewhere. During this time there were a lot of people moving from Mexico to California. People would refer to California as, “El Norte”, meaning ‘the North’. Word had gotten around that there were many jobs there and that the pay was
I come from a place of proud people and independence; a place of worn church houses and of tear stained Bibles. I come from a place of shackles and chains made of coal that held my people in slavery and subjugation; a place of used needles and broken hearts. I come from Appalachia, and I will be heard. My roots run deep within me connecting me to the mountains where I was born. In my times of trials and tribulations. I look back to my roots and the people who worked so hard to get me to where I am. I find hope In those memories, they give me the strength to persevere and work towards my goals.
As discussed by Hanson in “Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States” large differences in wages serve as one of the reasons for Mexico-to-U.S. migration. In Grande's “Across a Hundred Mountains” Juana's father Miguel is forced to immigrate to the U.S. in order to pay for his family's dept. As a campesino (farmer), who planted and harvested crops on the side of the river, Miguel does not earn enough money to pay for his daughter funeral and not nearly enough to erect a new house for the rest of his family, therefore he turns for help to Don Elias, the richest and cruelest man in the village (Grande 13-27). Grande describes a common situation in life of the major part Mexico's citizens. Urrea's characters (based on real events) suffer
The controversially disputed concept of an “open border” between two diverse worlds is the necessary solution in order to mend the herida abierta; however, whether it can completely heal the wound corresponds to how “deep” the wound is per say. Migrating from an individual’s mother country mitigates the wounds of poverty; conversely, separation can also create a wound resulting from a loss of ethnic identity and culture throughout the generations. In Reyna Grande's novel, Across a Hundred Mountains, Juana and her family confront the overwhelming issue of poverty in their routine lives in Mexico. The concept of having an opportunity and a better livelihood becomes a recurring element in Juana and her family’s situation. Poverty becomes a
“I thought I would be stuck in Mexico my entire life since I was happy.” If it wasn’t for her husband, she would most likely still be in her home country. Dalila thought about finally living the American dream and so when her plane landed in the US, her journey to becoming an American began. She quickly realized that the airport was quite overwhelming to take in since she was never taken to places with such high activity with people. In other words, she was nervous for what was ahead in her path. “I was shocked because I have never seen so many people at an airport. All the airports I went to in Mexico were no where near as packed as this one.” Much like the parents of Pedrito and his brother, the brothers navigated their parents in overwhelming places like the mall, just like how her husband acted like a guide for her at the Los Angeles International Airport. And so after her successful landing at the airport she went to her Parents-in-Law’s house where her and her husband would stay until they would buy their house. There she had a baby at 20 years old in 1994, her first child of three named Raymond Rendon. “I had mixed emotions because I was happy to have a kid in America and I was worried since I felt I was a little too young to have my first kid.” They stayed in Wilmington, California where Dalila would go to school at Banning High School to receive her GED in 1996. With the encouaragement of her husband she enrolled in English Second Language classes (ESL) to finish off what she could not do in Mexico, receive her high school diploma. There she learned to speak English similar to why the parents in “Music for My Mother” learned to speak English, to blend in with the people from America and to communicate with them. In other words, part of the American identity is to speak English since it’s the most common language there. While at her second year in school, her husband, her child, and son moved to Long Beach,