For mami, the states was “la ultima coca cola en el desierto,” meaning the last coke in the desert. The best thing in the world. Her intentions were to come to the states and study medicine, but after a few months she realized not knowing the English language meant being stuck with the worst jobs. “Ni en la bodega se hablaba Español.” You wouldn’t hear Spanish, not even in the grocery stores.
She began the first 20 years in the states working on and off in sewing factories, but once all those jobs were outsourced, she had no choice, but to learn the language and train to be a home health aid. This new job meant working 12 hour shifts, seven days a week.
Today at 62 years of age, she works 5 days a week from 8pm to 8am. A job that requires heavy lifting of patients and duties ranging from that of a nurse to a maid sweeping and mopping floors.