Little Grecia speaks “pocho” Spanish for her age of 10 years. A week ago she arrived at an ejido named La Sangre, in the town of Santa Ana, Sonora.
There her mother tried to enroll her in school, but with no success, due to the fact that the school year had already started.
Now she is required to travel to the state capital of Hermosillo, to arrange for a “Mexican ticket” at the American consulate there.
The little girl’s mother said that the change of residence was a last minute decision, even though her problems had been building for some time, when the hours her husband worked in Tucson, Arizona were cut back, and then, according to her, due to SB1070 he was terminated.
In Arizona, the family was paying for a home that took 60% of their salary. The payments on the home, which was 3 bedrooms, living room and large yard increased with the financial crisis, and monthly payments were up to $1,000.
“It was impossible to keep paying, being completely out of work, so for this reason we decided to return, and here we now have a half-built house on some land that my husband inherited from this father, here we will remain,” said Fabiola.
The rural community where the family lives now is very humble: unpaved roads, no parks, a small plaza in the center of the village, not much of a school or extramural activities.
“My children don’t like it here, they want to return, but what can we do? My daughter does not speak Spanish well, there are words she just does not know, and the heat ( which can reach 115 degrees in the summer), imagine that,” mentioned the woman in a worried tone of voice.
The little girl, she says, shows the same problems as other students that come from the US: they don’t know how to write in Spanish, do not understand many of the words, and the information taught at their academic level is confusing.
In the school where Grecia is enrolled there was no room for her, said her mother, because there is a small group per classroom, and not enough desks and teachers.
At first, the school teachers did not understand the procedures to enroll the child, due to the fact she came from the US. They only gave her an “800” number to call, and it was with this she contacted personal at the Secretary of Education and Culture, where they explained the procedures.
The agency recommended it would be better to enroll her in an elementary school in a larger city, where there are teachers who speak English and Spanish and can help her reintegrate easier.
But the mother said that was impossible, because all they had left after spending 10 years in the US, and abandoning everything, were the improvements they made to the house in the ejido where they now live, and there is nothing left.