By Caroline

Leonor Clavijo was driven out of her home country of Columbia by fear. Her brother was kidnapped by military forces and tortured during a recent political movement. Once they recovered her brother, their parents sent them to the US to avoid anything this devastating happening to either one of them again. She came to the US because she had had English classes as part of her curriculum in school and could better adjust to the culture and surroundings. Her brother seldom speaks of his experience when he was kidnapped, so she really doesn’t know much about what happened while he was gone.

Prior to the immigration of her and her brother, she was a journalism scholar for five years. She says (on the subject of her expectations of the US), “...parties every night, my country was very focused on fashion and so I thought that I could come here and get everything I wanted and that it would be less expensive.” Her biggest obstacle was that she really didn’t have any basic skills such as cooking and laundry because she grew up in a wealthy family and always had maids and cooks. She also mentioned struggling with her accent and grammar. But this is nothing compared to the hardships she would have faced if she had stayed in her home country.