Becoming Neighbors in a Mexican American Community: Power, Conflict, and Solidarity

By Gilda L. Ochoa | Go to book overview

Chapter 1
Introducing Becoming Neighbors

One gets sad because one is humiliated here, and unfortunately
one’s own race is doing the humiliating. I have been humiliated
many times because I can’t speak English.

SARA VALDEZ, Mexican immigrant

Migrating from Cuernavaca, Mexico, to escape an abusive husband and with hopes of “earning enough money to eat,” thirty-six-year-old Sara Valdez arrived in 1989 in La Puente, a city in Los Angeles County, California.1 After acquiring a job in a neighborhood restaurant, she encouraged other family members to join her. She now lives with her two teenage children and her cousin in a converted two-car garage. She works from 5 P.M until midnight, more than forty hours a week, as a waitress.

Sitting at her kitchen table, Sara speaks candidly about the difficulties she has encountered in the United States. As her voice cracks and tears well up in her eyes, she describes the humiliation she experiences because of her current economic situation and her limited English-speaking skills. Living and working in La Puente, a largely Mexican-origin community, Sara explains how it is “established” Mexican Americans who have humiliated her.2 Sorrowfully, she shares:

One’s own people discriminate. It’s sad. These are people that clearly
are established. They have businesses and their own homes. They look
down on one because of one’s bad economic situation.

The coraje (courage out of anger) that led Sara Valdez to travel thousands of miles to leave her abusive husband is what she is drawing on now to combat the ridicule she currently faces. After long nights at work, she studies English at a local school:

It’s a little hard to go to school because I usually get home from work at
midnight, but sometimes as late as 2 A.M It’s hard to get up, but I am
going to school because of coraje. I want to improve myself and have a
better job for my children, so I tell myself, “What do you have to do to
improve?” Because since I came here, I’ve been in the same little hole.

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Becoming Neighbors in a Mexican American Community: Power, Conflict, and Solidarity
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 272

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.