Humans of St Eds- issue 7

Gabrielle Wilkosz

“I’m passionate about heritage, keeping to your roots. It’s very important to keep to who you are and never let people make you forget who you are.

I’m from South Texas, McAllen. When my friends move out they leave their Mexican culture behind, forget the language and assimilate. They stop speaking Spanish.

‘De lo malo, siempre sale algo bueno’ is something my Abuela would always tell me. This saying in Spanish means ‘there’s always hope.’

I was raised by my two grandmothers who are really strong. My abuela on my mother’s side raised 13 children in rural Mexico with Mom being the youngest. When you live in a little ranch house it’s hard, and it’s not for everybody.

I look around this room and I wonder, could you skin a chicken? Could you wake up early every day your whole life? If there’s something to say for me and my people it’s that we work hard.

I spent a lot of time in Mexico when my parents worked. My whole family, my parents came from humble means. My dad was a migrant worker and my mom was from a small town. It’s really humbling to have them as role models. Never forget who you are or where you came from, because in the blink of an eye it can all be taken from you.

My dad actually came here on the CAP program in the ‘80s. I didn’t learn English until I was eight. I try to speak as much as I can with my family and friends. It’s what I’m comfortable speaking.

I’ve had obstacles, but I wasn’t raised under as harsh conditions as my parents. They did the suffering for me — the hardest part for me has been the weight on my shoulders of doing better than my parents and making sure their sacrifices go towards something.”