I am Kurusa, second daughter of a family, married at 21 years old, 7 children (5 adopted and 2 biological) who are the pilots of my life and the anchor of my reality. I come from a multicultural family. Nine years ago I came to the U.S. without thinking how my life would change. I stopped being a professional and I started working in the fields, and coming to this reality gave me a life lesson in seeing how our own countrymen abuse us; the discrimination and the fear is ridiculous, the frustration in not understanding the language and the laws that isolate us from the means and the possibilities to succeed.
“Working in the fields showed me the value and needs of, and the injustices that happen to, women who are farmworkers.”
That same impotence and my limited knowledge of the law and process one needs to follow in different situations made me search to be a part of an organization and to seek help for me and my children. To involve myself as a volunteer in schools, without speaking the language, gave me the opportunity to find the strength to tackle unraveling the complexities involved in reaching my goals. I joined organizations as a peer-volunteer and then joined Lideres Campesinas.
“Seeing so many strong women hurting, abused, battered, but at the same time committed to succeeding despite their economic level, education, tongue, origin, race, color, language, religion, I noticed that there were the same feelings and need to help and to receive help.”
It makes me very happy to know that I can make changes, first on myself, and then that I can contribute my grain of sand so somebody else can also find help and draw out the inner value that brings them knowledge and the strength to succeed and to help others.
My life has changed. It was as though I had entered a whirlpool and when I came out the other side I was in a place with familiar faces, where I knew the faces, but NOT their way of thinking. Coming to live to the U.S. has been a doubled-edged experience, but I thank every person who has helped me to stumble because that has given me the opportunity to meet two people from whom I have learned how to overcome and succeed. I find, each time, more people who share my madness to not remain being spectators, but learning to share, to be humble and giving value to every person, for the positive and for the negative, that teaches me how to keep growing and be a contributor of ideas and a link between communities, institutions, families, individuals, to show my children that it does not matter how tall or short one considers herself/himself, YOU ARE A VALUABLE HUMAN-BEING, that has a lot to give and a lot to learn.
Thank you God for allowing me to be who I am and how I am. Letting me swim and giving me the strength to learn, even against the flow, and to share my madness with more crazy women like me, who know how to go everywhere, but more importantly who know where they don’t want to return. KeAku Mahalo Ohana.
Storyteller Kurusa is a “Mother, sister, wife, woman: with the daily intent of not letting my inner girl die. Loving me and loving with intensity, valuing life and who I am.” This story was written by Kurusa during the Lideres Campesinas: Sembrando El Futuro workshop in Greenfield, California.