Have you ever felt like you’re alone in a boat at sea? Have you ever wondered if it’s really worth continuing to fight for your dreams, in spite of all the obstacles? Have you ever thought about getting off the boat and to quit fighting?
Whenever I face a problem in my personal and academic life (which happens many times), I feel the need to find the most compelling reasons not to give up trying to become a Spanish teacher in this country. Many times, I face myself, my fears, my worries, my desires, all to find myself again and find encouragement.
Sometimes, I feel I have little to gain and much to lose…but I’m still here, today represents a gift that will last forever. My hope overcame my demons; today, I decided to be here and it has already paid off.
I have met people like me. I AM NOT ALONE IN THE BOAT! The problem was that I could not see my surroundings. My fears blinded me.
“I’m about to open a window that will take me into a different world. This window will become as wide as a large door that will allow unity between those who will make the changes and those who will follow… students whom we will guide through the path of peace, of hope and success.”
Who is my drive and motivation? My parents, they didn’t even have the opportunity to finish their elementary education. My mother finished the last grade available to her at the time: which would be fourth grade. My father never had the opportunity to go to school. He can’t read or write. Life taught my parents that school isn’t as important as working hard and tirelessly building a future. I don’t blame them for thinking that way. We needed to be fed and clothed. They are my inspiration; however, I would never allow any child to have the precious gift of an education taken away .
My children are my most precious gift and motivation. Being a single mother with four children intensifies the struggle, but makes it more valuable. Since they were very young, my children have learned that despite the ups and downs of life, we sometimes fall and slip, but getting up always makes us stronger. Falls are opportunities that strengthen us further.
I am my own motivation. Living and growing up in a very remote and poor community in Mexico made me appreciate the effort my family took to see me grow up healthy and safe. Wanting to break the chains of poverty and ignorance made me escape, and keeps me searching for a better world.
I’ve accomplished so many things! I’m very proud of myself. I’ve shown the world and myself that coming from a humble condition isn’t a barrier to success. Yes, the task is harder, but in the end, tasting the fruits of our labor on the arduous path is worth it.
I am Mexican. I am Latina. I am a woman. I am a mother,…now I am a teacher for social justice. If I can do it, others can too. We are fighters. United we will stand. Yes, inequality and injustice exist, but there is also will and determination to make change and to leave our stamp. I don’t want to only be a teacher, I want to be the teacher Delia Zamudio, who sparks in students the flame of courage, progress, love of oneself and life, and for education and change.
Today, I strengthen my commitment to fight tirelessly for my dream. Today is the day. It’s possible.
Storyteller Delia Zamudio is originally from Valle de Santiago, Guanajuato, Mexico and moved to the US in 2005.