About A Boy,Coming To America

The way to travel,the old 747.

An early experience as a wetback

It was the year 1972, and my mother ,my sister and I were living with my grandparents in Uruguay since my father had traveled to the United States a couple of years before,in the hopes of a better economic future for the family because the situation in Uruguay had deteriorated over the last decade.Many friends who had

immigrated to the States years before told him how life in the U.S was as full of opportunities to work hard and prosper providing your children with a bright future as it had been in Uruguay for the previous generations.When my father left,I was at that age when even though I had always been very close to him and missed him a lot,the fact that I knew the separation was temporary and we would be reunited soon made it an easy situation to endure,besides,we talked frequently on the phone,he wrote letters,and whenever any person we knew traveled back and forth he would send me toys I hadn't even seen on TV.

Montevideo,Uruguay

Documentary 1970s in Uruguay and fall of Democracy.

The time has come.

So as you can see I had a very happy childhood,playing every day with my best friends ,whom I knew since I was four or five or as I thought of it, a lifetime.Going to school on the bus on my own which I had done since the first grade,and coming home to my grandmother's home baked something or other to eat with my coffee and milk. After that it was off to play again until dinner time,when they called me back in and after watching the nightly news ,my grandmother and I would sit by the window and wait for my mother to come back from college where she was studying to be a teacher.This was kind of stressful because of the social unrest of the time and the almost civil war between the government and the Tupamaro movement with their urban guerrilla actions.It was at this time that one day my mother told me that the time had come.We would travel to the U.S to join my father soon.

Toronto,Canada

The lost blue Blazer.

Preparing for the trip.

So as soon as the trip was decided we started to visit and say goodbye to the whole extended family,traveling to the country to where my parental grandparents,aunts and uncles lived.This was a sad time for me, because even though we were going to reunite with my father whom I loved and missed.I had sort of gotten used to the situation,but what I really was not happy about was to leave behind what was my whole world and all the people I loved.I was mature enough not to make a big deal out of it or act out on it,I felt it wasn't right to do that to my father.And what comes next is one of the most vivid memories of my childhood.






The 70's weren't the best times for New York City.

On the plane we go.

I remember my uncle,my mother's brother took us to the airport,minutes before we left i said good bye to my best friend that was playing down the street .My mother had dressed me with my best clothes ,including a navy blue Blazer sweater,my grandma had bought me for the trip.We got on the plane and the next thing I remember is that we arrived at Toronto airport where we were led by some men dressed in suits through corridors in the airport and into a large office where we waited for several hours.They were respectful but not friendly,and provided us with sandwiches to eat.After a while they escorted us to a helicopter which took us to another airport where we boarded a flight back to Uruguay.It turns out my father was waiting for us a few miles away on the U.S side and never got a chance to see us.I was disappointed ,but not terribly sad about having to go back,except for the fact that my brand new,expensive Blazer was left in the office we had been held.In the flight back we befriended an Argentinian lady and her little daughter my age who shared with me a box of some sort of sweet treats similar to cracker jacks which delicious taste I distinctly remember but never in my life was able to encounter again.And at home my grandparents were waiting for us for dinner.

What do you think about this story?

Consider this would have happened to you.Would you after having this experience decide not to ever put yourself and your family through such an experience again?Or would you try to attempt to migrate in a different manner where you wouldn't run the risk of being rejected again,perhaps seeking to migrate to a country that welcomes immigrants?

International Migration

Have you ever considered uprooting your family and moving to another country?

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Comments 4 comments

mio cid profile image

mio cid 2 years ago from Uruguay Author

it is much worse today.it is almost impossible to immigrate legally to the US unless you are a Cuban defector, a millionaire or a crook.


BlackroseBugg profile image

BlackroseBugg 2 years ago from Southern Oregon

Most timely, with all of the stories in the news these days about people attempting to immigrate into the US. This must have happened some time ago, and I have to wonder if someone coming nowadays would encounter the same problems. Thank you for making me think about something new!


mio cid profile image

mio cid 2 years ago from Uruguay Author

thanks for stopping by and commenting ,your opinion is always appreciated.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Very interesting from a child perspective. Makes it all personal.

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