I met my husband in the summer of 1995 while in Mexico. After he returned to the US, he began calling me, but due to language barriers, we found it difficult to communicate. We began writing letters to each other, as internet access was not yet widely available. He wrote to me in English, and I had a friend with better fluency than me read them for me. In turn, I wrote back to him in Spanish, and he had a friend translate my letters. We continued this way for nearly a year until he visited my family a few times the following year. His first visit was reminiscent of a scene from the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," with my entire family and relatives waiting at the airport. While in the kitchen with everyone asking him questions, it was quite comical.

We were married the following summer in 1996 and honeymooned in Hawaii before settling in Oregon where we had another wedding.

My children, a son age 16 and a daughter age 18, make me very proud. My daughter is currently studying computer science with a focus on artificial intelligence and a minor in nuclear energy at college, while my son is a junior in high school preparing for his senior year. He has a passion for baseball and will be playing for Lakeridge High School's varsity baseball team, the Pacers, this year.

My daughter has a more ethnic appearance like me, while my son has a more blended look. Growing up, my daughter faced challenges as many white Americans did not see her as one of them, and Mexicans did not view her as Mexican. Although she has matured now, high school was challenging for her. I remember her being disappointed after being asked to participate in an event just because of her minority status.

During the September 11th attacks, I received a lot of negative attention since some people assumed I was from the Middle East. On one occasion, my family and I went to Seattle to pick up our passports for an upcoming trip. However, despite my husband and children being with me, I was held for interrogation as I looked Middle Eastern to them. It was a traumatic experience for me, and they only allowed my family to stay in a small section of the building from where they could see me.  

I obtained my degree in International Trade from Mexico, but upon moving to the US, I discovered that my degree was not recognized here. It took me a few years of taking various classes to transfer to Portland State University (PSU). Attending college in the US was a great experience for me due to the diverse student body. I loved the fact that my classmates came from all over the world, which made for fascinating discussions and provided unique perspectives. It's a great way to educate American students who sometimes live in a bubble of sorts, thinking that the US is the center of the universe. Exposing them to different cultures helps broaden their perspectives.

After finishing school, I realized that Finance was not the career path I wanted to pursue, but it provided a solid foundation for what I would do later. Before becoming a realtor, I worked in financial and insurance services.

To me, a home serves as the foundation for a family. As a licensed realtor in both Oregon and Washington, I view real estate as an opportunity to build relationships with people. It's not just about the sales for me; it's about helping families build wealth, stability, and legacy. When I first moved to the US, I didn't have that stability, but now I have the privilege of helping others achieve it.

One of my major goals this year is to promote equity and diversity in the real estate industry. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to properly represent minorities and prepare them to become homeowners. It's much more difficult for minorities to become homeowners than it is for white families due to discrepancies in income and the loan process.

If we want to make a positive impact in the communities we serve, we need to understand those communities. This means hearing from all the groups within that community before making any decisions. To achieve this, I'm working with some colleagues to create a greater diversity of real estate brokers in Oregon. This will ensure that our unique needs are understood and addressed.

I've been running my own real estate business for about two years now, and it's been an empowering experience. Having my own business allows me to pursue my goals and help people in the way I see fit. For me, success is about building relationships and helping others.

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My daughter has been expressing a strong desire to visit Mexico lately. Although we took the kids there when they were very young, they may not recall much from the trip. Nevertheless, they have developed a deep appreciation for Mexican culture and take pride in their heritage.

At times, my children feel a sense of loneliness. However, I have instilled in them the belief that family extends beyond blood relations. In my home country, family is typically limited to relatives. Here, family encompasses those who we choose to have in our lives as friends and loved ones.

When I first moved to the US, it was a scary experience. I remember thinking, "How did I end up here? I want to go back home. Everything is so different." The weather was a big adjustment, and the culture shock left me feeling isolated and cold. It was especially lonely not having anyone to converse with in my native language, as Mexicans are known for being very social.

However, over time, I began to feel more comfortable and settled in the US. It took me about ten years to feel like I belonged here, but eventually, I came to appreciate my new home and accept that this was where I was meant to be. Seeing my children grow up here, attending school, and making friends, made me realize that this was where I was rooted.

Nowadays, I identify more as an Oregonian than as a US citizen. I love living in Oregon and wouldn't want to permanently move back to Mexico. However, I do miss my homeland and would like to visit for a few months at a time. For me, home is where my loved ones are, and as long as I have my family with me, I can be happy anywhere.

My community holds a special place in my heart. The journey to where I am today has been long and challenging, but I finally feel content with where I am. I have found my tribe - a group of individuals who make me feel at ease. They are people who inspire me to be a better person and who prioritize doing good in their own lives.

Growing up, I had to develop a strong survival mode due to my circumstances. My mother raised four daughters on her own as a single parent, as my father was absent from our lives. Despite the difficulties, my mother worked hard and retired from her job at a high school about five years ago. She is now well-settled and does not rely on anyone else for support. However, it is saddening to see her alone, and I do not want that for myself.

Thus, my community plays an integral role in my life. I have found a group of individuals who I can rely on and who provide me with a sense of belonging.

During my adolescence, I was actively involved in ballet (Folklorico) performances where I learned various types of dances. I participated in this activity for several years, starting from middle school and continuing through high school. My aunt, who is my mother's younger sister, was a teacher and played a significant role in teaching me how to dance. I enjoyed it thoroughly and had a passion for it.

Unfortunately, as I progressed through my education and began working, I had to make difficult choices regarding my extracurricular activities. I had to discontinue my involvement in ballet, but if I had the opportunity, I would have continued doing it.

I am eagerly anticipating my upcoming 50th birthday. I believe that my 50s will be a time of great fulfillment and achievement. I have learned that everyone goes through a journey, and the experiences I have had thus far have prepared me for what is yet to come. I am confident that the best is yet to come.

In my life, I find meaning and purpose through my family, community, and faith in God. These elements have played a significant role in shaping who I am today and have provided me with a strong foundation to navigate life's challenges.