When I had first received the assignment of interviewing a person from a different country, I was a little worried. I started running different questions through my head that would be interesting to ask. Secondly, I was unsure if my interviewee would be able to understand me.
However, my stress was put to ease after finally meeting my person of interest.
I was paired up with Melissa Favela CQ, a young Hispanic woman from Rocky Point, Mexico. She was the interviewee I had hoped for. Melissa is sweet, talkative, and extremely easy to get along with. I did not have to worry about asking her questions; instead, she insisted on her speaking and I follow along with typing her story.
She began with telling me that she was born on May 20, 1997 in the neighboring country of Mexico. She grew up in Rocky Point with her mother and brother. She spoke with great respect for her mother, who had Melissa at a young age. Her mother later married a man of US citizenship to bring Melissa and her brother to America.
Her biological father was almost never in the picture; he constantly denied her reaching out to him. He never responded to her messages, photos and cards. They last spoke in September of 2014.
“We will start a new life,” Melissa’s father said to her. Unfortunately, he never kept contact with her.
However, that fails to dampen Melissa’s positive spirit. “My father lost me, I didn’t lose him,” Melissa said. “He was never in my life.”
On August 3, 2012, Melissa officially arrived in America. At first, she was reluctant and nervous. She didn’t know any english and often gave the wrong answers to simple questions, like her birthdate. Most of the time, she stayed at home to learn the difficult language of English.
“I was really lonely,” Melissa explained. “When you’re 15, you just want to go to parties.”
After some time, she grew to love the United States. She felt there was more of a reasonable justice system here in America. She explained that freedom could be a bought unjustly in Mexico.
She believes that you can be prosperous if you work hard.
“It is the opposite of Mexico, where you can work for a long period of your life and still be poor.” Melissa said. Here in America, Melissa feels she has more opportunity to be successful.
In fact, she is currently in process of graduating from Barbizon Modeling School, which she began in 2014. Next year, she hopes to attend a Hispanic beauty pageant called Nuestra Belleza Latina, a reality show produced by Univison. Univision is a popular American-Spanish language broadcast television network in the United States.
Melissa is also amazed by the melting pot that America is. “Here, you can learn a lot of different cultures.” Melissa said. She is not discouraged with her dialect in her English Second Language class since her classmates are in the same boat as she is.
Melissa is not one to let a language barrier hinder her. Her goal is to be a journalist focused in Spanish. She is following the two-year process at Pima Community College and plans to transfer to University of Arizona’s Department of Communications.
One can learn from Melissa’s forward-looking perspective on life. Despite all her struggles, she continues to be pleasant individual.
“I don’t really think about the past,” Melissa said. “I live in the future.”