Love guides immigrant worker to cross borders

Acacia Coronado

Lucy was only a teenager in Mexico when she met the man she would someday marry, but his life was across the border in the United States. A decade of shared love would help them close that gap. 

“I went to school with his sister and she would always tell me that she had a brother in the U.S.,” Lucy said. “Every time he would come over she would invite me to hang out with them.”

Although their families lived in the same city, he was born in the United States and preferred to live and work there. They dated a few years over letters and weekly calls, and by their mid-twenties he persuaded Lucy to leave her life in Torreón and marry him. 

Following the wedding, Lucy left her career in social work helping neighboring towns learn the agricultural and life skills they needed to succeed. At first, Lucy felt alone and out of place.

“I was alone all day,” Lucy said. “The first month, every day (my husband) would find me crying. I would tell him I wanted to go back but I had to be strong and adapt.”

Life improved when her family moved to the countryside, where she learned to drive. Her neighbor, who worked at UT, recommended she go back to work. Although her lack of English limited her prospects, Lucy eventually got a night shift job doing custodial work and eventually transferred to a Division of Housing and Food Service day job.  

“(Here) I’ve been able to offer a better life for my kids here help my people in Mexico,” Lucy said. “When people ask me now if I would go back I say ‘No’ because my family is here, so this is my home.”