An article in the Tuesday (December 26, 2006) local newspaper. Latinos tell Houston suburb to promote it but keep issue off ballot.
Hispanic leaders in this Houston suburb are trying to persuade city officials to encourage residents to learn English rather than propose ballot issues that some view as racially driven.
The League of United Latin American Citizens has asked the city's elected leaders to abandon the goal of making English the city's official language.
"One of our aims and purposes is to foster and promote the learning of the English language and at the same time maintain your native language to expand culture."
Reading this article brought back memories of a young mother from Ecuador I had the pleasure of meeting a long time ago. I incorporated this story into my book.
Chapter Seven (pages 126-126). She was already married and had a very young son that she had to leave in the care of her mother. Her husband was killed in some sort of a fight while still in Ecuador.
Anyway, she too traveled a long journey to make her way into this fine country and entered as an illegal immigrant. She believed that this was the only thing left for her to do to be able to make a better and a safer life for herself and her son.
Now she is here in a strange new land, her husband was murdered and her young son is in the care of her mother. She was very frightened at first because she did not know anyone and she could not speak our language.
However, what she did have was a determination to succeed not just for herself, but for the son she had to leave behind. If you thinkl that this did not weigh heavily on her then you might want to re think it.
She was just heart sick over the whole situation, but she was also determined to make something of herself in this new country that she had heard so much about. She was able to find employment in a small town because the shop owner was sympathetic to her plight and just wanted to lend a hand.
"She still did not speak our language, but that did not stop her from what she knew she needed to do. After all, she traveled from Ecuador and did it basically all by herself. I am not so sure that even I would attempt something like that.
It did not take her very long to find a small place to call home and at least for the moment she was happy. Funny though, with all that she had gone through, to meet her was a joy. She was like a breadth of fresh air, always happy, always vibrant. Her expectation level of future happiness with her son and success with employment was phenomenally hight.
After a few weeks of trying to learn at least the most simplest of words she purchased for herself a cassette player and a cassette to learn how to speak and understand English. Everywhere she went she wore that headset and she learned and learned and learned until she could speak the language.
Once she had mastered the art of speaking English it was like the whole world opened up to her. The next thing that she wanted most was to become a citizen of this fine country. She did her best to learn what she needed to know."
Like many before her, she did not forget about her culture. She was determined to mix the best from both worlds for herself and her family.