Why did you leave your country? What did you regret leaving?
I left Colombia because we were only supposed to come and visit the U.S. But once we were here we couldn't afford the airfare back and we overstayed our visa. I regretted leaving my life there. I was just a little girl.
Describe your most vivid memory about arriving for the first time in the U.S.
When I was on the plane they fed me mashed potatoes, I had no idea what they were. Once getting off the plane and not being able to understand anyone was very scary. It sure wasn't home and I felt like it would never be “home.”
Did you find it hard to adjust to life in the U.S.? What did you like most about your new life here? What did you miss?
It was very hard to adjust. We had absolutely nothing. Looking for a place, knocking from door to door. Once I got older it was a little easier, but not really. I was awarded very good scholarships and couldn't use them due to my legal status. My resentment grew because they told me I was a great student, but all my hard work was for nothing. I really only enjoyed life when did dance. It was my only outlet.
Describe your first experience seeing snow.
I loved it. I was a small child and it was fun playing in it and being able to go sledding. It was if I were in a movie!