I was born on September 9th 1986 in Moroleon Guanajuato Mexico, and I came to this country in 1992, when I was 6 years old.
My mother worked long hours in a fume-filled room for twelve years, not knowing that her lungs where getting filled with harmful chemicals. My mother was diagnosed with cancer, and since the age of 12 I have always known what medications she has taken, how many surgeries she’s had, how many times she has been through radiation and chemotherapy because I was always there to support and translate for her.
But at the same time I was supporting my mother, I was also spending my summers volunteering at my grammar school and at the Museum of National Mexican Art. Moved by my experiences there, at 15 I felt the need to empower youth by painting murals in my community to show the strength of our ancestors. This experience later led to working with children at a domestic violence organization, using the power of art to help them forget the mental scars left by abusive parents- usually fathers. I began to wonder why the mothers never reported this abuse. The answer was simple: because of their status, and fear of being separated from their children. I became a certified domestic violence counselor at the age of 18, hoping to help these children stay strong. Since the 8th grade, my work in my community has been recognized and respected.
Last January, my mother passed away, after a year living with too many tubes attached to her body. Her strength and the sacrifices she has made for me in this country has given me the courage to fight for my freedom.
I am 23 years old now. I’m tired of waiting for someone to decide when we are going to be free in this country we call home. I’m not living in the shadows anymore. I’m not going to live in fear. My name is Nico, and I’m undocumented and unafraid.
Facebook: Nicolas Gonzalez