My Mother 92
I was born in a middle class family in Colombia South America, and at the age of 12 my dad died; since then, my family has struggled to survive. I am the 5th of the 6th siblings and my elder sister has mental disability.
Unfortunately my mother was a housewife, she didn’t have any profession, so she had to work as a maid to provide for all of us; we had to move to a small village, and we lived in a mud brick house, with no water, gas or electricity services, my mother had to cook in a wood stove, the house had dirt floors and the restroom was a septic tank with no toilet.
Like any teenager, I used to have many fiends, but I was so ashamed of my home that my friends never knew where I lived. I always stayed in front of another house and when they left I walked to my real home.
Despite all that adversity I never stopped studying because I believe that education is the only way to improve our quality of life and have better opportunities.
To do my homework at night I had to light candles, and I was always in the top 10% of my class.
When I got older I had the chance to travel to the USA, and because I knew that would be a great opportunity I decided to leave behind my family and friends and I moved to Florida, but my friend dropped me in a strange house and left me there.
I was so lucky that the family that lived there was very nice to me, and gave me the opportunity to stay there; I slept in the couch for 6 months, until I found a job as assembler worker in a vacuum cleaner swimming pool company , and I was able to move out.
I always kept in mind going back to school, and I started by leaning English at public school trailers, then I took the GED exam, and I was ready for College.
At that time I was already in my late 30’s
The company where I was working closed its doors, so I started working in the restaurant business as a busboy and then I was a waiter.
I applied to Broward Community College and started Architecture that has always been my passion; after I received my Associate of Arts Diploma I transferred to FAU Florida Atlantic University where I received my Bachelor’s degree in Architecture in 2009.
Unfortunately at that time was the Economic Meltdown was a recession and everyone got layoff from work; and I just graduating with no job opportunities and no job that all.
I had to start collecting unemployment benefits, but weren’t enough to cover all my expenses, so I had to get food from the supermarkets trash cans.
That was a very bad time to find a job, but a good time to improve my education, to be more competitive when the recession is over, and because I was a good student I decided to apply for a Master’s degree at Pratt Institute in New York, and I was accepted.( All my tuition was with financial aid that I have to pay back)
While I attended School, I took a job as a waiter in a restaurant located in downtown Manhattan New York.
By that time I had been already 20 years away from my home town, and I received a call that my elder brother had passed away, and I couldn’t attend his funeral.
I was very sad and I realized that my mother was getting older and when I graduated I decided to get back home and take care of her.
I have been 7 years already here in Colombia taking care of my mother, but the financial situation turned very bad.
I have tried any place to get a job, I was a Substitute Teacher In Florida and I also have a TEFL certification to teach English, so I applied to any University or academy to be a teacher, but because I am 61 they didn’t hire me.
I have also applied to teach in architecture schools because I have my bachelor’s degree and my masters but no luck.
I realized that at my age here in Colombia, I need to work on my own, because nobody is going to hire me, so I designed a tour guide of the city, to provide tourist services to foreigners but I need my own transportation to star my own business.
Right now after all my education that was my priority in life, my mother 92, and I 61, are homeless, living on aids from family and friends.
For the past four years we have been living at my sisters’ house, my mother is sleeping in the maids bedroom and I am sleeping on the unfinished restroom floor, to small that I cannot fit a mattress, with no natural light or ventilation.
I never thought that I will be in this situation, but we really need, (my mother and I) someone with a good hearth that is willing to help us financially.
We need a place to live, and money for food, but the most important thing is to be able to buy a car so when the pandemic is over, I will be able to start my own tourist business.
Thanks’ to God I feel strong and healthy, and I want to keep working for many years to come.
We will be very grateful with anything that you can help us to have a roof over our heads, and be able to work and be productive again.
God bless you.