[They wanted to publish under pseudonyms, so the following stories are by "Gori" and "Hector."]
My Life as an Immigrant by Gori
Life as an immigrant is pretty cool. I learned a new language and made new friends from another country. I’m originally from Copacabana, Rio de Janerio, Brazil. My family moved here so we could have better opportunities. I really like talking about my country but my friends here think I talk about Brazil too much. It never snows in Brazil and is really warm.
I learned English by watching American TV shows. Before I came to Somerville I lived in Revere and East Boston. In Revere the school was pretty good but I didn’t like it as much. Then in East Boston almost all the students were Hispanic and the teacher was trying to teach me Spanish. Then after those two cities and schools I came to Somerville.
The only reason we came to Massachusetts was because my father had come to Massachusetts because our cousins live here. My parents wanted my sister and I to go to the Winter Hill School, but they only had one spot open so we didn’t go there. Then my parents thought about going to the Brown School. The first day I went I absolutely loved it. The kids were friendly even though they couldn’t say my name. I’ve been going to the Brown ever since. I think this is the coolest school in Somerville. I think Somerville has the nicest schools in Massachusetts. I absolutely love it here!
When I first came to the United States of America I was about five years old. I came with my family from El Salvador. What I first noticed was that everyone was wearing different clothes because it was winter. People were wearing sweaters and coats, but where I came from it’s very humid and warm. Another thing I noticed was that everyone was speaking a different language. I found out that they were speaking English, but my whole family speaks Spanish. So I had to learn a whole new language, but for me it was kind of easy.
When I came here I started pre-school and I was a little nervous at first, but when I got a chance to get to know everyone it was kind of easy for me to make friends because some of them were Spanish. Soon I was speaking English. Soon after that my parents decided that we should move to another place and that meant that I had to start making friends all over again.
My second school was in New Jersey where my aunt lives. It was more difficult for me because I had to start getting used to a new school with different teachers and with new kids. My cousin was going to the same school, but I was one grade ahead of her. I told my parents that I didn’t liked New Jersey and that I didn’t like my school either. I kind of made a couple of new friends at my new school, but I always missed my friends in Somerville. Then my parents agreed that it wasn’t a great idea to move to New Jersey and put me in a whole new school. We moved back to Somerville.
When I got to be with my friends again and my teachers, I felt a lot better again. I got a lot better at speaking English and Spanish at the same time. I kind of liked speaking in English at school and speaking in Spanish at home with my family. Then over the years, I got the hang of everything like speaking in English at school and then speaking in Spanish and practicing it too because my parents wanted me to speak English, but not forget Spanish either.
Some of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and my grandparents live in California, Texas, New Jersey, Virginia, El Salvador, and here in Massachusetts. Some of them I get to see over the summer. My parents would like to go to El Salvador for Christmas next year, and I would like to go to visit some of my relatives there too.