Ana Leon — When I left Cuba

Look, I had a very happy childhood. Even though we were a poor, but very humble family, my mom always made us happy. We used to go to the river, we ran around in the streets until bedtime, then my mom bathed us and put us to bed, and the next day was the same story, running around. Kids don’t play like that anymore…

I originally traveled from Cuba to Venezuela due to political problems. At that time my father-in-law was a political prisoner, an opportunity opened up to get a family visa and leave the country.

Leaving Cuba was so sad. In those days, when a person left Cuba, his family used to say, “I buried a family member,” because when you decided to leave, you knew you couldn’t come back, and you didn’t know when you would have any news of your family again.

The hardest job I got in the United States, I don’t know if this counts, but it was raising my children alone. I traveled from Venezuela to the United States because, I separated from my children’s father.. I came to a new country, to start over again, learn a new language, and raise my children alone as a mother and father.

I like the discipline and order in this country. It’s a country in which things work because there is order and rules to obey. You have a lot of positive things in this country, but you must do your part. If you do things well, you will be successful but if you don’t you will be a loser.

Thank God all my family is here with me. I had to wait 30 years to have all of them with me.

What surprised me the most about this country is that it’s full of opportunities. You get here with nothing but if you put in the effort, You can accomplish anything.

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