Blanca Alvarez (BA) and Connie Alvarez (CA)
BA: We were walking and walking through the mountains…
CA: In the desert?
BA: Uh huh. And um the man he told us to take our shoes off because there was a lot of rocks. And he said I don’t want no noise because the dogs are very very good to detect every noise.
BA: And he said I’m gonna whistle and you gonna duck. And it was a point where he whistled you know we went out on our stomachs. And we stay there, oh my god, I can see ants, big ants crawling. And I was so scared and he said when the border patrol change shifts…
BA: …you know you gotta run. I remember it was torture in those rocks without shoes. So I, we run as fast as we could and then he said you gonna walk through that bridge, I’m gonna walk behind you, and you gonna give me the money there and then from there you’re on your own.
CA: What kinds of jobs did you have since first arriving in the country?
BA: We were gardeners. And we were cleaning offices.
CA: I remember the offices.
BA: You remember that? We had the night shift cleaning that’s why you know we had to take you and your brother. I didn’t have a babysitter.
CA: I have memories of running into everyone’s office and eating candy from their candy dishes. I remember being with my brother in our pajamas with the little plastic feet. And I also remember you would always buy us a cup-of-noodle from the vending machine, like a snack, and then put us to bed on people’s office couches and then you’d carry us to the car when you guys were done cleaning the offices. I remember that. Did they ever know? Did your bosses ever know that you took your kids?
BA: No, I don’t think so.
CA: Is there anything that you’ve never told me but want to tell me now?
BA: When we first came here we went through a lot of things like not eating…
BA: I guess for 6 months your father lost his job but we never told you that.
CA: I do remember a lot of beans. Bean tacos.
BA: But when you ask us why the same thing… remember?
CA: Yeah yeah.
BA: I didn’t want to tell you why.
CA: If you could do everything again would you raise me differently?
BA: I would dedicate more time I guess. You know, I was so busy going to school too that I guess I neglected you a little bit.
CA: No. For me watching you go to school with two kids and trying to make ends meet that was the biggest inspiration for me to finish college. I thought there’s nothing that could stand in my way that didn’t stand in yours more. So. It’s the most importing thing for me having gone to college and I feel like anything I do from here on out is ok because I’ve already achieved my dream. Everything else is icing on the cake.