My Rites Of Passage

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My rite of passage occurred when I was thirteen years old as I was forced to leave my childhood behind and become an adult. In my Mexican culture a quinceañera marks the transition from childhood to womanhood; however I fast-forward the preparation for my coming of age ceremony. I clearly remember my rite of passage ceremony: It was the day that my parents returned to Durango, Mexico and I stayed behind to permanently live with one of my older siblings. A few months before my rite of passage my parents and I had immigrated to California escaping economic struggles and in search of opportunities. My parents had a very difficult time adjusting to the lifestyle here and decided to go back to Mexico; however, they wanted the best for me and my …show more content…
As a first generation undocumented immigrant womyn I understand the complexities and conflicts of identity formation among my community. Through my active participation as a board member of Improving Dreams, Equality, Access, and Success (IDEAS) at UCLA, a support and advocacy student group for the undocumented community, I have developed a critical and activist perspective toward social issues that affect the immigrant communities. Even though, my work with IDEAS is personally rewarding I had difficulty balancing my work within the organization and my academic responsibilities which affected my grade performance. My involvement and interaction with other undocumented students has allowed me to learn that my identity conflicts and feelings of lack of social belonging are not singular. After becoming conscious of the personal and social struggles that my community faces I turned to the academia to find answers. However, as Spanish scholar I am disappointed of the lack of academic research on this topic. One of main goals as a graduate student in Hispanic Languages and Literatures is to explore contemporary literature that narrates the life of undocumented immigrants, as well as to examine the literature written by authors that are or were undocumented. I believe that this literature gives an insight on a group that historically has been …show more content…
I understood the terminology of identity formation, as well as the importance of conducting research with the purpose to inspire change. As a teenager immigrant I underwent an identity crisis, the transition from subsistence agriculture based rural community to capitalist California was drastic and an important factor of the person that I have become. I soon learned the language and adapted US customs, although my immigration status forces me to live in a continuous liminal stage that when it comes to political or legal issues disenfranchises me. However, living a liminal stage is not of all negative since it allows me to fully embody the social issues of my community giving me a critical perspective. This perspective allows me to be a bridge between the academia and the undocumented community. Understanding their issues and because of my background I am an adequate critic of the representation of undocumented immigrants in

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