Stories of the American Dream

When immigrants leave their homes to come to the United States, it is not because they are expecting a free ride. They do so because they believe in themselves and they trust their dreams will be fulfilled.
Mariano Rivera — Dreams do come true
“When I left my country for the first time, I had never been on a plane. I experienced mixed emotions. There was happiness, as I was going to do what I loved the most, but there was also nostalgia because I was leaving my family and did not know what to expect. It was the first time I was apart from my family for an extended period of time. I did not speak English, and everything was in English, so it was very difficult. It was challenging from the very first moment.”

This is how Mariano Rivera describes the moment he had to leave his family in Panama to pursuit his dream in the United States. Watch more about his story, in this new episode of “Stories of the American Dream”.
Maria Ofelia Enriquez - Leaving your loved ones, is leaving a part of you
Never in her life would Maria Ofelia ever experience such fear as when she crossed the US border for the first time. It took her a month and a half to get to Houston braving dangers and risking her life, all for the well-being of her family, especially her two children.

“On arrival to the United States, what impresses you the most is knowing that you are stepping on American soil, because you are finally safe from many dangers. The biggest impression is that you are going to find a better life for you and your family”

While in the US, Maria Ofelia received news that one of her loved ones, her mother, was in poor health; Doctors had given her only 2 days to live. Without thinking about it twice, Maria returned to Honduras, her homeland, along with her 2-year-old American son, to be with her mother on her deathbed. Continue to watch her full story in this new video of "Stories of the American Dream".
Ajie Attawia - The Son of the Student
Ajie came to the United States because her father was a tireless student. Through a student visa he was able to bring his family from Sierra Leone, where he was a pastor. He studied theology and later did a master's and a doctorate in economics.

The thing that impressed him the most, when he arrived in the United States, was fast food. “In a matter of minutes, you can satisfy your stomach” As a child, coming from a country where he had to wait for meals to be prepared, it amazed him how quickly he was able to grab food at a drive-thru in the US.

Attawia acknowledges that the United States “is a country that opens up your mind and opens you up to new experiences so you can go out in the world and apply them.”
Jose Miguel Guzman - I came because of love
The only reason for the arrival of José Miguel Guzmán to the United States; LOVE! The one who is his wife today. received a job offer in Atlanta, Georgia and proposed that he went with her: "Basically I was in love with her, and so here I am, married with 2 children"

Despite the weather, Guzmán has not forgotten the cold that greeted him upon his arrival: "What hit me the most as soon as I arrived in the United States, was a totally inhospitable climate, as I arrived in the middle of winter. It was a very harsh and ugly winter. The wind was blowing very hard, a little snow was falling and I missed the spring"

On top of this, they could not find the hotel where they were going to stay. José Miguel shares an impossible to forget anecdote; "We could not find the hotel and we called to tell them that we were near a Burger King so they could guide us, and of course they laughed at us, because there were Burger Kings everywhere". Today, all of that is almost forgotten. José works as a translator in the County helping those who, like him, arrived without speaking English.
Kedir Seid - Family and Soccer
As a child, Kedir Seid disliked the idea of coming to the United States and leaving his friends back in Ethiopia 🇪🇹.

“I hated having to come here, I didn't want to because I was leaving my friends behind. I didn't have problems like other people had. I didn't have to leave my family because we all came at the same time, but the really...really hard part for me, was leaving my friends behind. I remember going all the way to Minnesota on the Greyhound bus, just to play.”

Fortunately, Seid was able to come with his entire family. The families unity has been the great strength in achieving many dreams in America. As he describes it: “In America, you can be whoever you want to be. Whoever or whatever, but it has to come from you. What you wish for and how badly you want it.”