I am Joan Melvin.
When I was 29 years old, I decided to come to the United States. My sister Silvia and my friend Eliezar helped me to pay for my trip to come here.
My friend Eliezar is from Guatemala and he was my classmate in the institute “INTECAP” and my co-worker, too. I came to live in Guatemala City after the civil war in my country El Salvador in 1989. When I was 19 years old, my parents took the decision to send me to Guatemala because I had my cousin Adita living in Guatemala with her family and she told my parents she can receive me. I moved to Guatemala because we had a very dangerous war and uncertain life in my country. I studied and worked in Guatemala for 3 years from 1990 to 1992. After I finished my studies, I came back to El Salvador.
I did not lose my friendship with my friend Eliezar. Once or three times a year we talked with him by phone. One day he surprised me giving me the news that he was living in Maryland, United States, with his family. In 1997, my friend Eliezar gave me another great surprise. He visited me in El Salvador in my home.
I remember when he showed me the green card and told me, I have the “American Dream”. He asked me, you want to come to the United States? I answered “yes”. OK, he said, I can help you get the visa and I can pay for the trip. I said OK. I talked to my sister Silvia and she can help me, too.
On September 30, 1999, I arrived in Maryland, United States. I was very happy to see my sister and friend again after a long time. I left my parents, brothers, fiancé and family in my country. Then, I lived with my fiancé in Maryland for 8 years. We moved to California in 2008.
Now thank God I have my own family, my dear wife and my beautiful daughter. Thanks to my family and friend, I am living my life in the United States. I am working hard and learning English to get my dreams, like my friend and other persons to get the “American Dream”.
Thank you God for my dear family and friends. God bless you forever.
Joan Melvin. "Family And Friendship Are Important" Our Words, Our Voices. Vol. 3. Hayward: Literacy Plus Council, 2015. 17-18. Print.