Bernice García Baca

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Bernice García Baca

Santa Fe, NM

My own immigrant story is a mingling of many elements of our history. When I see immigrants now and during my 40-year career as an educator, I see my own ancestors. A few centuries back, my forbearers made the perilous journey from the center of a great civilization at the time in México, to the area in which my family has lived for generations—what is now New Mexico after many colonizations and governments. With great hope in their hearts, they all left now-Mexico to explore and create a better life for their children here. As a school counselor, countless times I welcomed parents and their precious children to a school in their new land, speaking a language which I’ve struggled to learn, like my own parents struggled to learn English. They left their children in my hands with the responsibility-laden words “Se los entriego a usted.” The deep meaning in those trusting words (which don’t translate well) was not lost in me as I fought my own battles to help them, along with thousands of other children, struggling to transition to the goal of happy, productive adults. Their journey is nothing short of heroic.

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