My Life Be Like

Undocumented Value

Every day I ask myself, why me? What makes me special? Why would anyone care about my story? How exactly am I like Jose Vargas, Julissa Arce, and the many other immigration writers I admire and aim to emulate? Before having books published, Jose Vargas found success as a journalist, and Julissa Arce reached success… Continue reading Undocumented Value

My Life Be Like

My Cinderella Story

Do you remember as a child, playing pretend? Do you remember who you pretended to be, and why? I remembered the other day when I was deep cleaning our apartment, the days I pretended to be a Disney princess. After leaving school, I would go with my mom back to the house she was cleaning… Continue reading My Cinderella Story

My Life Be Like

My Self/Black Girl Magic

The only thing more painful than growing up as an undocumented immigrant, was finding myself — my true self — as a mixed girl with nurturing of only one of those elements. It’s not lost on me that as a child, being in public places with a white woman by my side allowed me to… Continue reading My Self/Black Girl Magic

My Life Be Like

My Childhood in Rio

When I first arrived in the United States in the summer of 1998, my mother and I lived in my uncle's house in Berkeley, California. He had sponsored our tourist visa. After picking us up from LAX, he took us to Disneyland and Universal Studios, before we made the six hour drive to his home.… Continue reading My Childhood in Rio

Hidden Gems, interviews

Paz Ellis on the plight of Citizen Children of Immigrants

When thinking about immigration, it’s easy to focus on the plight of undocumented and dacamented people, as if they were the only ones affected by America’s immigration policy and climate of hate towards immigrants. I am guilty of viewing the citizen children of immigrants as lucky and carefree Americans. That started to change the day… Continue reading Paz Ellis on the plight of Citizen Children of Immigrants

My Life Be Like

Candomblé (Part I)

One of the most memorable moments that I experienced during the trip to my homeland, Brazil earlier this year, was unexpectedly stumbling upon a ceremony known as Festival of Lemanja. It was at a locals’ beach adjacent to Pão de Açúcar  (Sugarloaf Mountain) that I saw a large group of mostly Afro-Brazilians gathered under a… Continue reading Candomblé (Part I)

My Life Be Like

Following Divine Signs

It’s a crazy, surreal, indescribable feeling when you realize that life is not random -- that it has purpose. When you realize that there are signs everywhere of choices you should make, directions to take, validations of your gut instincts, it can feel overwhelming. It can be confusing, but I’ve found that the more you… Continue reading Following Divine Signs