Across The Strait of Florida

By Cal Y.

Rocio Perez grew up in Cuba until she was six years old. She went to school there, but came to the United States after second grade. Rocio skipped a year of school in Cuba. Her parents were doctors, and her family lived a good life. When the communist leaders took over the country, though, her parents decided that it was time to leave. They got on a boat that would take them to Miami, but the trip did not go as planned. The government found out that they were leaving, and tried to sink the boat. The boat was not sunk, but Rocio and her family were returned to Cuba. Her parents lost their jobs, and life became harder.
“When Castro took power, all of the schools were renamed to things such as Lenin Academy and Stalin School. The teachers were told to make the students sing patriotic soviet songs in class.” This was a part her past that Rocio Perez remembered vividly, although her family left again soon after their first attempt. They left again, and this time they got successfully to Miami. Rocio started going to school in third grade in Miami, and she had already learned some English at her school in Cuba. Rocio did not remember any racism or discrimination against her in the United States, because she said that that is something that she would not notice. Rocio Perez’s parents still live in Cuba, and Rocio is in Law School at Duke University here in North Carolina.