Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas is one of main entries into the United States from Mexico. My parents were both brought to Nuevo Laredo at a very young age; they later met there, got married and had my sisters. My dad had previously made his way out to Chicago on his own to work and send money back, while my mother and my sisters stayed behind. He couldn’t do it; it wasn’t worth it if he didn’t have his family by his side. A couple years later he came back to the US, this time he brought his family. The plan was, he would wait on the other side of the border in a car with a couple of bags of clothes, while my mother and my 3 sisters walked across the bridge, my youngest sister was 1 years old at the time. My mother was to tell the immigration person that she needed to go buy milk for her daughter in Laredo, Texas, if they could please let her go and she would come right back. They did, and she didn’t. Instead they joined my dad and drove to Chicago; drove in search of a better life. The year was 1978.
I tell you that, to tell you this. Nuevo Laredo was their home. They left it behind, along with their families, in hopes of making a better life for their children. Years passed where they couldn’t visit, until finally they received their green cards and they were able to go back. This was when I went for the first time, and every year there after. This was home away from home. This is where I told people I was from when they asked me. Nuevo Laredo was beautiful to me in its humility and it brought sense of reality to what my parents went through. There was many extremely poor people, living in conditions I had never seen in Chicago. If we thought we had it bad, they had it worst. You live and you learn. As the years passed, things changed. We couldn’t walk around Nuevo Laredo like we used to. I won’t get into details, because honestly, it may not be the safest thing for me to do. Neither maybe was this song. But I had to at least shed a little light on what has happened to the city my parents called home.