Meet my son Sam.579781_10150843431604823_752499822_9903108_1388614689_nToday was a very tough day for this mom that only wants good things for her son.  I have worked hard to get where I am which may not be much but it’s been a long journey to becoming an educated Latina originally from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.  I come from a very modest upbringing.  Raised in a Mexican household with 6 siblings and not much in the way of monetary things.  We had one television that we all fought over.  Excellent Mexican cooking by my mother Josefa and a very hard working and talented dad Elias.  I have worked the onion fields of California (green onions) Grapes of Cucamonga, California, white onions of Ontario, California.  This made me or molded me into who I am today.  My parents never wanted me to work in the fields, but I was never one to sit around and do nothing.  I enjoyed my time away from home, but being in the scorching hot sun and getting up at 4am on the weekends was not for kids to experience.  California growers are ruthless, they don’t care if you’re an adult or a child as long as their crops get picked they pay!

I have had many other tough jobs, but never a wimp about doing the tough work.  One of the greatest things I took away from my working in California fields is that I never wanted to work outdoors and I always knew I wanted to work in an air conditioned environment.  I feel for my people that continue to do that back breaking work, but it also makes me want to work hard for them, for their children and for my son.

My son has had a few jobs here and there, but today when I saw him working at our local car wash something made my heart jump to my throat.  When I left the car wash I could hardly breathe, I cried the whole way home.  This is not how I envisioned my son.  This is tough work, he is a driver there, but it was still tough seeing him in this establishment that hires a lot of Mexican men and women to do the cleaning work.  I spoke with an older Mexican man that brought my car out, he spoke to me in Spanish, he was very nice.  He could easily be my uncle or dad for that matter.  I told him my son Sam works there, he seemed perplexed.  He said there is only one Sam and I think he’s a gavacho – white!  I said if he’s 6-3 that’s my son, he’s Mexican/German.  The man said that Sam had told him in Spanish that his mom is Mexican and from Tijuana lol.  I guess it’s the right Sam :).  This man said that he’s had many conversations in Spanish with my son who I sent to a  Spanish immersion school and can read, write, and speak Spanish.  He said that he has told Sam to go to college and study so that he will not have to struggle in life as our people have.  Sam has replied that he is going to college when he finishes high school.

This man made my day, I love that Sam is interacting with Paizas.  People of our culture, that he is having those experiences.  That he sees how tough life can be for those who do not have the language or the education.  I hope this helps mold him and appreciate our people just in case he hasn’t up to this point.  Sam has grown up around a lot of kids that come from affluent backgrounds.  Sam’s mom has not been so fortunate 😦

Today was tough, but after speaking with a close friend and hearing her stories handed down from her father about our kids needing to have those experiences, needing to be carpet cleaners and car washers along side our people who’ve struggled so that someday they will appreciate their people, where we come from and the work they may someday do is priceless.

I know that Sam I Am will do great things, I hope he can someday be a great leader.

I’m so glad I have this blog, a place to put my story and reflect on how fortunate I have been and how lucky we are to live in America as my dad put it “The land of opportunity”.

Marina Castillo ❤


California June 16-2012

 CaliforniaAt Castillo Villa in Home Gardens, CAFather's day visit to dad's grave 6-17-12Father's day visit to dad's grave 6-17-12Lake Mathews Regional Reserve

california 2012, a set on Flickr.

I miss so much about California!!! I wish I could come and go. I need my own plane, pilot, and house by the beach. When you dream, dream big right!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Everyday we’re alive is a day of thanksgiving. May your day be filled with love, food, and more love. Love and light to all.

California June 16-2012

 CaliforniaAt Castillo Villa in Home Gardens, CAFather's day visit to dad's grave 6-17-12Father's day visit to dad's grave 6-17-12Lake Mathews Regional Reserve

california 2012, a set on Flickr.

June 2012 trip to California

Worked at the Naval Weapon Station for a few years late teens into early twenties.

Have a great Thanksgiving and be safe! Mucho amor!!

Thanksgiving once again. The holidays are here. Time for food, family, and fun.