With Trump walking to the White House, a 59 year-old volunteer has no plans of giving up

Griselda Sanchez talks to Diana Ramos, youth organizer at CHIRLA. She wants to know what time she is going canvasing on election day. (Photos- Agustin Duran)

On election day she had been volunteering for more than 12 hours and talked to more than 100 people to make sure they cast their vote. She wanted to make sure nothing got in the way of having the first female President of the United States.

The tacos and the music were ready to celebrate at the Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles (CHIRLA). The big screen showed people arriving at the polls at a national level. The vote count started to come in and was being reported in the news. Everything was looking good, but around 9 p.m. suddenly everything changed.

Griselda Sanchez walked the streets of Huntington Park, under 90 degree weather. She wanted to make sure everyone eligible to vote is planning to go to the polls.

The 59-year-old, Griselda Sanchez, immigrant from Honduras couldn’t believe what her eyes were seeing. She kept looking back to the screen again and again and the numbers were only getting worse. The possibilities of having the first female president was vanishing.

But not only that. Donald Trump, the Republican candidate that had promised to build a wall at the border with Mexico and deport 11 million undocumented immigrants was becoming the 45th President of the United States.

The dozens of people reunited at CHIRLA, most of them immigrants, some Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) receivers and some citizens began to cry. The celebration was out of the question and by 10 pm a lot of people had already left the building. Later that night, Sanchez couldn’t take it anymore and got drunk; her disappointment was too great. “Everything went down the drain,” or “valió madre,” Sanchez said over the phone in Spanish.

“Now what’s going to happen? What’s going to happen with the families who have lived in the United States for years but for some reason they haven’t been able to become residents?” “What’s going to happen with all of those young people that are now working and going to school because of DACA? Are they going to be deported, separated from their families?”

It was the third day after what was suppose to be a historic day and she was still upset over the outcome of the presidential election. She was still wondering how it was possible that everyone got it wrong. If the news experts, professionals and even Republican people said they were going to vote for Hillary.

Griselda has been in the United States for 37 years, and this year is the first time she finally gets to cast her vote. She is so exited because she hopes Hillary Clinton will become the first female president of the United States.

Sanchez looks like a strong and cheerful woman, but that day, she was so serious that she still couldn’t talk. Even during the interview her voice broke, excused herself and asked for a second to continue.

The immigrant woman explained that her five brothers haven’t been able to obtain their residency and every time someone knocks on their door, they pray it’s not immigration.

Last year, after 37 years of living in this country, Sanchez finally became a citizen. On Tuesday, November 8th, was her first time voting. It was a very special day for her, not only because she was voting to have the first female President of the United States, but because the ‘racist’ and ‘homophobic’ promises made against minorities that the Republican candidate Donald Trump said during his campaign.

Sanchez explained that she has been a volunteer with CHIRLA for almost 10 years. She has been fighting for the street vendors, for the California driver license and for the rights of workers among many other struggles, but this time, it was more important because having Trump as President will affect many more people. This is the reason why she volunteered her time. She assisted almost every day, for many hours and sometimes the whole day, either calling people or walking the streets.

“Nobody can even image him [Trump] as President”, she said. “Why… what happened?” .

Sanchez said that she was very surprised once she found out that 29% of the Latino population in the country voted for Trump and 53% of the women supported him after everything he said about them. “What did we do wrong?” she added.

The immigrant woman just hopes that the now elected President touches his heart and doesn’t do the things he promised against minorities. But she said that she will not give up and now more than ever, will continue donating her time to make sure the immigrant families do not get separated.

“We just have to keep fighting. This is not the time to stop,” she added.