I’m from a small town on the Pacific coast of El Salvador. You probably have never heard of my town, but I’m sure you’ve been hearing a lot about how people from my country are fleeing and are trying to seek asylum in the United States. I never really wanted to leave my home. My early life was peaceful. The house I grew up in had only one room, which I shared with my parents and my two sisters.
My mother would wake up at 6:00 in the morning and make us coffee, plantains, beans and cream for breakfast. For Christmas she’d bake marquesote, a kind of sweet bread. No one could make it like her.
But I only had a little bit of time with my mother. She died of cancer at the age of 40, when I was 8. After she passed away, my father assumed both roles — mother and father. He taught me that no matter how dark life gets, you always have to hold your head high, think positively, pray to God and continue forward.
For work, my father sold coconuts for my mother’s family business. He and my uncles would get the coconuts from a nearby island and bring them to the coast in small boats. We had a relatively happy and carefree life. Then gangs started appearing in our neighborhood and demanding renta, or extortion payments. At night they left little notes at people’s houses, threatening, “If you don’t pay us, we’ll kill your daughter or your son.” How is someone supposed to pay 0 when it takes all day to earn ? As the threats continued, my family felt we had no choice but to abandon our boats.
Bigger problems started from there. When I was 16, I was relaxing with my cousin, watching over my uncle’s cattle while my uncle was out with my father. Some guys came over and started bothering us. One of them was my friend. We’d grown up together, shared meals together. They said: “When are you guys going to join the gang? You’ll have your own money, women, guns, drugs, whatever you want!” My cousin and I told them, “No, we’re good.” But they kept insisting, “You need to join the gang.”
One day, an older guy threatened, “If you don’t join us, you know what’s going to happen.” I’d seen him around but didn’t know him. I just knew that he sold guns and drugs. I said, “Who are you to give me orders?” And he replied, “I’m going to teach you to respect me!” Not long after, my father came home and told me, “They just beat up your cousin.”
The next day, I was herding my uncle’s cows when some guys began walking toward me. One had a gun, another a machete. I abandoned the cows and hid between rows of sugar cane. After a while, I made my way home and told my father what had happened. We were both terrified.
He told me that he was going to ask his sister in Chicago if I could go live with her. I spent a week in the house with the door closed. Gang members slid a piece of paper under the door. Neither I nor my father knew how to read, so my little sister read it aloud for us: “We’re coming for you tomorrow morning. We’re not playing around.”
I can still recall the terror I felt. My father told me: “I have someone who can help. He’ll take you away.” I looked at him, trying not to cry. He said: “You have a father who cares about you, and no matter what happens, I’m very proud of you. I know who you are, and you’ll be a good man.” My father paid a “coyote” ,000 to take me to the United States border. I packed only one pair of pants, shoes, a pair of boxers and three shirts. My dad gave me some toothpaste and a comb. I decided to take only a bit of money, in Salvadoran colones, to buy food or something I might need.
The morning I left, I awoke at 5:00, bathed and got dressed. All the while, I cried like a small child. I’d cried a lot when my mother died, but this was different. I was worried that something would happen to my sisters when I was gone. My father hugged me. He didn’t want me to see that he was crying. I warmed up some beans and said, “Papá, let’s share a plate of frijoles.” A white car with black windows drove up. A couple of the gang members who had been threatening me walked up to the car. But before they could reach me, I got in and we drove off. Inside the car were the coyote and his helper, who was driving. The coyote wore a dress shirt and black shoes. He’d made this trip many times.
It took us a month to reach the American border. When we arrived in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, I got separated from the coyote and became lost. I had no money, nothing to eat. Three days later, the coyote found me. He took me and another migrant to a bridge to cross. Border guards were checking people on foot, so we grabbed bicycles and rode across. When an officer standing in a booth turned toward us, I ditched the bike and ran. But the border guards on the United States side caught up with me and handcuffed me.
I told them that I’d fled gangs in my country. One agent said in Spanish, “All of them say this!” Another yelled, “We don’t want people like you.” They asked: “Why did you enter this way? Why didn’t you go to another country?” I told them that I had an aunt here and I didn’t have anyone in other countries. I also had two stepbrothers and a stepsister in the United States, but I didn’t have any contact with them at that point. When I told the agents I was 16 years old, they took off my cuffs. Then they took off my belt, my shoes, all my clothes, and searched me.
An officer called my aunt and she confirmed I was her nephew. But after they hung up, they said I was going to a shelter in San Antonio.
The shelter was clean, and the staff made sure that we could play and that we would attend school. As soon as I could, I called my aunt. She said that she couldn’t take me because she wasn’t working and my sponsor had to be able to support me financially. So one of my stepbrothers, whom I knew only from photos and who lived in California, agreed to sponsor me.
The shelter allowed me only a couple of phone calls, so I wasn’t able to talk to my father until a few days later. When I heard his voice, I felt like crying. He fell silent, and then asked if I was safe. He advised me to “hang out with good people you’re going to learn things from.”
I stayed in the shelter for a month. I celebrated my 17th birthday there. Finally, I was sent to live with my stepbrother in California.
Though he was only a little older than me, he took care of me and enrolled me in school. A teacher introduced me to a school counselor. He gave me the number for a lawyer who worked for an organization that gave me invaluable support and legal advice.
That lawyer said that as an unaccompanied minor who feared serious harm in my home country, I was qualified to apply for legal papers so that I could live safely in the United States. She arranged an immigration interview for me. I was nervous that the immigration official was going to say that I couldn’t stay. But I got fingerprinted, and I got a work permit. And I felt relieved.
Meanwhile, the news from home kept getting worse. I had left because I thought my family would be safer without me there since the gangs seemed to show up wherever I was. But a few months after leaving my hometown, I found out that one of my uncles had been killed by gang members after he refused to pay them. My little sister had witnessed the murder, and the gang leaders told her that if something happened to the men who had killed him, she’d be blamed.
And then one Sunday morning in September 2015, my father called me at around 8:00 to say hello. He texted me a photo he had taken of himself. He was drinking coffee, and eating beans and fried plantains. He told me that he was going out and that he’d call me in the afternoon.
I went to my job delivering furniture and was just arriving at a house to make a delivery when my stepbrother called. He said: “I want you to be strong. Your father was just murdered.”
I refused to believe it. I didn’t even cry. The only thing I could do was call my father over and over again but he didn’t answer. I finally talked to my stepsister and she confirmed that he’d been killed.
Eventually I learned that after my father and I spoke that day, he was out walking when someone shot him from a distance. Two bullets hit his head and one hit his shoulder. I found out about three hours after the shooting. I was afraid that my sisters who were still in El Salvador would also be murdered.
Getting over my father’s death was very difficult. My two sisters are now in the United States. But I still worry for our safety because some gangs that operate in El Salvador are also active here.
I also worry about the future of my country. The president of the United States has decided to stop sending aid to El Salvador. But Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, is trying to do something good for my country: He recently went there to learn about the violence and poverty that is prompting people to flee. We have to find a way to protect young people from the gangs in El Salvador and make sure that they are able to go to and stay in school. We need opportunities for companies in my home country to grow and provide better jobs so that young people there can have a secure future.
I often wonder what would have become of me had I not been able to escape. I think my father would be happy to know that I am building a new life in the United States, where I am now a legal permanent resident, and that I am following his advice to work hard and surround myself with good people. I work Monday through Saturday doing furniture deliveries. I wake up at 4:00 in the morning. I shower and then I have a quick coffee and a piece of bread with cream, which is what people from El Salvador eat. As I do, I often think of my mother’s delicious plantains, beans and cream.
I recently started my own trucking business, and I have two six-wheeler trucks, a Nissan and a Toyota. I vowed that if I ever managed to have my own company I would name it after my parents. And now my trucks bear their names.
Isai Rodriguez is an immigrant from El Salvador. This article is adapted from a narrative that appears under a pseudonym in the forthcoming "Solito, Solita: Crossing Borders With Youth Refugees From Central America."B:
【六】【个】【人】【很】【快】【就】【下】【了】【场】，【下】【一】【组】【选】【手】【进】【入】【场】【景】【进】【行】【战】【斗】。 【洛】【尘】【非】【常】【认】【真】【的】【看】【着】【每】【一】【场】【的】【战】【斗】，【这】【里】【的】【每】【一】【个】【战】【胜】【的】【队】【伍】【都】【有】【可】【能】【是】【自】【己】【下】【一】【轮】【的】【对】【手】。 【只】【有】【看】【清】【对】【方】【的】【职】【业】【技】【能】【以】【及】【打】【法】，【才】【能】【够】【完】【美】【的】【想】【出】【和】【这】【个】【队】【伍】【战】【斗】【的】【方】【式】，【洛】【尘】【是】【队】【伍】【里】【的】【指】【挥】【官】，【这】【一】【步】【必】【须】【得】【他】【来】【做】。 【第】【二】【场】【胜】【利】【的】【是】【来】【自】H
【洪】【荒】【当】【中】【目】【前】【修】【行】【法】【门】【呈】【现】【百】【花】【齐】【放】【的】【趋】【势】。 【但】【浊】【煞】【神】【魔】【修】【行】【法】【门】【依】【然】【是】【主】【流】。 【大】【部】【分】【神】【魔】【的】【还】【是】【以】【神】【魔】【肉】【身】【演】【化】【大】【道】，【自】【身】【元】【神】【凝】【练】【不】【灭】【灵】【光】，【承】【载】【大】【道】【法】【则】【玄】【妙】，【最】【终】【凝】【练】【神】【魔】【法】【相】，【与】【法】【相】【合】【一】，【直】【接】【立】【地】【证】【就】【道】【君】【道】【果】。 【道】【君】【之】【上】【才】【有】【区】【分】。 【盘】【古】【祖】【神】【传】【下】【斩】【三】【尸】【法】【门】，【如】【今】【被】【发】【扬】【光】【大】。
“【好】【啦】，【不】【聊】【那】【些】【糟】【心】【事】【了】。【怎】【么】【样】，【来】【两】【局】？【看】【看】【你】【有】【没】【有】【生】【疏】【了】。” 【苏】【临】【风】【挑】【挑】【眉】，“【来】【就】【来】，【本】【少】【爷】【没】【在】【怕】【的】。” 【于】【是】，【接】【下】【来】，【整】【个】【房】【间】【都】【是】【游】【戏】【的】【声】【音】。 【甚】【至】【连】【隔】【壁】【那】【心】【心】【的】【房】【间】【也】【能】【听】【得】【清】【清】【楚】【楚】【的】。 【那】【心】【心】【郁】【闷】【地】【说】：“【那】【两】【个】【家】【伙】，【把】【声】【音】【放】【这】【么】【大】，【是】【想】【把】【这】【里】【炸】【了】【吗】？” “2017年151期买马【我】【不】【知】【道】【阿】【镜】【为】【何】【要】【说】【这】【种】【话】，【分】【明】【是】【两】【个】【不】【同】【的】【人】，【他】【总】【说】【些】【奇】【奇】【怪】【怪】【的】【话】，【弄】【的】【我】【都】【有】【些】【怀】【疑】【自】【己】【是】【不】【是】【真】【的】【认】【错】【了】【人】。 “【那】【些】【丹】【砂】【是】【焰】【鸟】【练】【功】【落】【下】【来】【的】，【跟】【我】【六】【哥】【一】【点】【关】【系】【都】【没】【有】，【你】【不】【是】【他】，【也】【不】【要】【成】【为】【他】，【你】【只】【要】【做】【你】【自】【己】【就】【好】【了】。” 【他】【全】【不】【管】【我】【接】【不】【接】【受】，【就】【说】：“【阿】【漓】，【我】【其】【实】【真】【的】【很】【可】【能】【是】【你】
“【湛】，【你】【喝】【酒】【了】？” 【可】【能】【是】【太】【疲】【倦】，【被】【慕】【容】【云】【湛】【拥】【入】【怀】【中】【时】，【苏】【良】【辰】【才】【注】【意】【到】，【他】【喝】【了】【酒】。 “【你】【也】【要】【去】【应】【付】【酒】【局】【吗】？”【苏】【良】【辰】【还】【是】【有】【些】【惊】【讶】。 【毕】【竟】，【以】【慕】【容】【云】【湛】【现】【在】【这】【样】【的】【身】【份】【地】【位】，【根】【本】【没】【必】【要】【去】【应】【酬】。 “【我】【累】【了】，【辰】【辰】，【睡】【吧】。”【他】【转】【了】【过】【去】，【背】【对】【着】【她】，【闭】【上】【双】【眸】。 【这】【还】【是】【他】【们】【关】【系】【改】【变】【之】