Alexandra is 13 years old. She had been living in Tijuana, Mexico for two weeks when she told me this story in April 2017
I was born in Phoenix Arizona. I loved how hot the weather was. I remember going to swap meets, that’s like a Mexican mall, people put out their own stuff to sell. Then we moved to Idaho. I was little, my dad used to work with someone remodelling houses. Mum worked as a manager at MacDonalds. We lived in a small town and went to school. I remember the snow. I went skiing in 5th grade but I wasn’t any good. I had lots of friends. Then we moved to Las Vegas. We really wanted to move because we wanted somewhere warm. It was nice, I went to school there. I was in 8th grade, I would have gone to high school there. I wanted to go to college. I wanted to be a hair stylist or a police officer. A hairstylist because I like to do hair and make up and stuff like that, a policewoman to chase bad people and put them in jail so they don’t do bad stuff again.
When I got home one day, Mum told me Dad had been deported. I was so sad and scared. I thought it could happen to mum and then the government could take us children. So we talked and we decided to go with dad so we could all be together. I felt good about it because I want my family to be together.
This is my little brother. He is cute, he is making a funny face. He is six years old and I have to look after him sometimes. He loves playing with us. He is going to start school the same day as me. he is happy to be here, even though he only speaks a little Spanish. He always said: ‘lets go to Mexico!’
The big difference between Mexico and the US is the poverty. The government in Mexico does not help anyone like it does back there in the US. Here if people are living on the streets they don’t do anything. In Las Vegas I saw a lot of poor people, but the government helped with free tents and clothes and here there is nothing like that.
This is a picture of a house near my home. It’s lonely. It does not have anyone in it and there is graffiti on the walls and all the windows are broken. I think people might be living there, I don’t know, maybe poor people. It is interesting because it shows the poverty here. I had never seen that before. We were living in Las Vegas in an apartment.There might have been people living like this but not near us.
This is the market near us. I took the picture to show people working to get money for their families. People are buying stuff they need for their families but some of it is expensive and the people selling are also trying to make money. We shop there sometimes for fruit and vegetables. It is good. I would like to learn to sell things myself, but I don’t know how to do it.
I don’t feel a big effect coming back here. I feel normal and happy because I wanted to be with my family. I am a bit worried about School. I want to go to school and to finish. I am an American citizen so then I can go back to the US and and go to college.
I took this picture to have fun. It’s my brothers’ and my sister’s feet here in our house. That is our floor. I like living here. This is my aunt’s house. I like it, it has lots of windows and light. It is better than Las Vegas, there is a lot more space. I share a room with my three brothers and one sister, but that is not a problem, we all get on well.
We moved from the US two weeks ago. I don’t feel a big effect. I feel normal and happy because I am with my family and I want us to be together. Mum and Dad are so good. My dad is trying to get a job. Mum is a cashier at the Supermarket. I don’t know if she likes it but she does not complain. I do the cooking sometimes. I help her with everything.