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MARIA ELENA SIFUENTES

A Precarious Beginning
I was born in Texas in the year 1964 to Mexican parents. My father left school at a very young age and had to work to raise his siblings. My mother was born in a family with money and had a maid and cook. She was raised to be a housewife like her older sisters, and her brothers had to go to school. When my parents came to the United States of America with their residency, my father worked as a trucker, mechanic, and a welder. My mother worked in factories. I was raised from the age of two in Pilsen, a neighborhood in Chicago‚Äôs South Side. My mom told me that a short time after arriving to Chicago I almost died of a high fever at the age of two. She also told me that on the same year I got lost when she walked out of the grocery store and walked away from her. After dropping off my siblings at home she called my father and they contacted the police. After the police drove her around the nearby blocks she saw me in the arms of a lady who was waving the police car down. My mom ran out of the car and grabbed me from the lady as she was explaining to the police officer how her son had found me walking in the streets…

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