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Letters between family:



April 1, 2010

Aunt Rita,


            You have been my role model and mentor for as long as I can remember and I need you to take up that role again. With the end of school coming and everyone in my class starting to think about college, I am starting to worry about what will happen for me next year. Since mama and papa brought me here when I was just a baby, I haven’t had any say in where I am, what I can do and how my future will go. I want so badly to go to college but I just don’t see how it can happen. I know I have the grades and that I am driven enough to succeed but without legal papers and little money – how can I make it work?


            I know you have helped other young girls like me figure this out but I am so scared of being deported like you were. Even though you were a valuable contributor to our community in Arizona, it didn’t stop you from being sent home.


            Please help me know what I should do! Even if college isn’t an option, how can I face my friends when they start asking me about my plans? They don’t know my secret and I don’t want them to.






April 15, 2010

Dearest Florence,


            Don’t be scared baby, everything is going to turn out fine. You are a brilliant young woman and colleges would be crazy not to want you. You are right about it being difficult, but that’s life and that is something you are going to have to face as long as you’re alive, whether it be in the United States or here with me in Chile.


            I know from my connections in the States that private colleges and universities will accept you without being a legal immigrant but you would have to pay full tuition. However, I have some friends who may be able to find a few donors to help get you through school. You must follow your heart and not worry about what will happen right now. Once the acceptance letters start coming in, you’ll know what to do.


            As for your friends, don’t be afraid of what they think. I know that is much easier said than done but if you open up and let them know who you are, they will accept you. If they don’t then you are better off without them.


            Keep on striving for the best my darling and you will get where you want to go. Fear is natural, you just have to learn how to harness it and use it to your advantage. I know you will do great things and that your future is bright.

All my love,






November 12, 2014

Aunt Rita,


            You were right – about everything. Life isn’t easy, but it is good and I’m grateful to be living it. I can’t believe my senior year in college is almost over. Three more weeks and I’ll have a post graduate degree that I can be proud of. While I have already written your friends David and Marie, please tell them how thankful I am for how they have financially supported me through school. Their generosity will not go unnoticed and I hope that one day I will be able to pay them back.


            School has been a challenge but I have loved every minute of it – well almost. I’ve learned so much about the world and about myself and I know now that I will be able to make a difference. It’s crazy to think that in a few short months I’ll be back in Chile with you – especially on my own terms. There is a long road ahead but if I want to help other children like me then I have to go back and enter the U.S. the right way. In the meantime, I have been accepted to a law school in Chile and can begin getting my degree there while keeping my goal set on working in immigration law in the United States.


            Thank you so much for guiding me through my rough patch a few years back. I don’t know what I would have done without your words of wisdom to help me along. I love you more than words can express and will see you soon. After all, I have to face my fears of leaving here in order to accomplish my dreams.



I'“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” 
― Dale Carnegie

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” 
― Margaret Thatcher

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