Our DiMe Media team was so moved by Jarritos’ short film “The Journey” that we wanted to share about our own family immigrant stories. We truly feel that regardless of where we come from, the diversity of our country is what makes us unique. We’re Americans whose families made their way to this great nation for freedom, and better opportunities for future generations. There is so much more that unites us than divides us!
We invite you to watch The Journey, a short film directed by Diego Luna that shares about the challenges, triumphs and beauty of the immigrant journey and how we’re #BetterTogether. Please watch it, and share your story at www.jarritosthejourney.com
My great-grandmother traveled alone from Northern Mexico into Texas with her four children during the Mexican Revolution to join my great-grandfather in Texas. As their family grew they instilled the importance of a strong work ethic, loyalty to family and helping others. They traveled as migrant workers from Texas to Michigan and Minnesota to pick cotton, fruit and vegetables. I’m very grateful for the many sacrifices that my family made to ensure that future generations would have opportunities that they could only have dreamed of, and I will never forget my family’s humble beginnings.
Angela’s paternal great-grandmother (center) with her children right before they left Mexico in 1917 to meet up with her husband in Texas.
I come from a long line of survivors, entrepreneurs, and general tough cookies! My maternal grandparents who hailed from large families in Cuba began poor and ended up owning guest houses in Varadero, Cuba’s famed beaches and coast. My paternal grandparents were both orphaned as children, and grew up to own a bakery and a bus route in Havana. Both sides of my family lost everything during in the late 1950s and they emigrated to New Jersey. Relying only on family members and Catholic church outreach services to the started their new lives as older adults in a new country.
Cristy’s maternal grandparents Luis & Sarah Perez in Varadero, Mantanzas Cuba in June 1945.
Piera Jolly (1st generation Uruguayan-American)
In 1978 they were living in Buenos Aires, Argentina and were owners of a fashion line called Punky. Unfortunately, there was a lot of civil and economic unrest and even violence during this time due to the military gaining control of the government. Faced with dire circumstances and a newborn baby (yours truly), they decided to move to the United States. My parents are the true definition of the American Dream! In their time here, they have built several successful companies and raised a generation of entrepreneurs themselves.
Piera’s parents, Jorge and Margarita
Candy Olivares (1st generation Mexican-American)
My father’s family immigrated from Mexico and worked the fruit and cotton fields in California and Texas. I’m proud to share this image of my grandfather taken so many years ago while working the cotton fields. It’s a reflection of the hard work we put each day to better our lives as Americans.
Candy’s grandfather working in the fields.
Alex Rodriguez (1st generation Ukrainian-Mexican-American)
My family emigrated from Mexico and Ukraine. They sought opportunity. Part came through Ellis Island and part crossed the US-Mexico border. I would not be who I am today, a first generation American, were it not for their sacrifices. They worked hard, went to school, and started their own businesses, all while learning to read and write English and assimilate to the American culture. People go through these same sacrifices every single day, most under even more difficult circumstances. It’s important to recognize them – we can’t forget the risk and chance they took to get here.
Alex’s great grandparents, Ana and Stefan, and their eldest daughter Olga, Alex’s grandmother – having just arrived from Ukraine c. 1935
My parents always envisioned a better future for their 3 daughters. We immigrated to several countries until they decided the on the US. 5 years after I was born in Chicago. They left everything behind in Panama to start all over again in the US. My mom started as a cashier in Michael’s and my dad as a baggage handler at Miami International Airport. Within a couple of years they started their own business together. They will always be my #1 role models that taught me by example that nothing is impossible. Their struggles have taught me to always stay humble and never give up on my dreams.
Pam’s mother, father, and 2 sisters in Chicago on 1989. You can find Pam in the blue baby carrier at just a month old.