“Once I was here everything was better than what I expected.”


Victor Sotelo

Diana Sotelo as a little baby.

interview audio

Diana Sotelo, 23 years old, is the second born in her family and the mother of a child who just finished school at Animo Ralph Bunche and is attending LATTC.

She talks about the experience of immigrating from Mexico to the United States.

She also talks about how she lived in Mexico and how she misses her family and the taste of the food there.

Having to talk about her cousin that she was close to as a sister and doing things together such as playing with toys, going to school together, and even immigrating to the United States together. But they had to separate, having their own families and getting married with their husbands, yet they keep in touch.



Victor Sotelo: My name is Victor and today I’m going to be interviewing you.


VS: Can you  give me a little background about yourself?


Diana Sotelo: Sure, my name is Diana Sotelo I am 23 years old. I was brought to the United States when I was 6 years old from Acapulco Guerrero Mexico. I went to school in Mexico for about 2 years. When I got to the United States I was in the 3rd grade. Umm, I finished school out here and I also graduated  High School from Animo Ralph Bunch. Uhh Currently, I am working for LAUSD, and I am also attending Los Angeles trade tech.


VS: What were some good memories living in Mexico?


DS: Some of the few memories I have of Mexico are when all the kids in the neighborhood would get together to play. Kids of all ages, big to small they would  get together, and make teams. We would  play Cops and Robbers, hide and seek, soccer, tag, and many more other games. I was pretty small but, I still remember all that and I still hold on to memories because you don’t see that now and days. Over there even your own parents like they will join the game and that’s what made it more fun and more something special.

VS: How was it like in Mexico?


DS: Well, when I lived there everything was way different than here. Kids were very independent. They would walk to school or they will go to their friend’s house alone. Sometimes we will catch a car and we would pay 3 pesos for them to take us to school or anywhere you wanted to go. I will normally go in a car and pay the 3 pesos with my brother. I was 6 years old my brother was 10 and he would take care of me. Also people would be like out in the streets and late at night now everything is so dangerous and there too much killings out there.


VS: How was it like in school? Was it any different from the  schools here?

DS:  The schools out here and in Mexico were pretty similar. It was basically the same thing you know, you go to school, you make friends, you learn. One thing that is different is that the kids in Mexico are more independent as I said. They all do their Homework, they go to school on their own from along distance they walk and  they’re very smart they don’t use technology like out here like a least not when I went to school there. If you want to do math you use your fingers or sticks or whatever, right here you use calculators, they use phones.


VS: Who were you close to in Mexico?


DS: I was really close to my cousin. She was the same age as I was. So we would do everything together. It was like if she was my sister, we would go to school together, we both had classes together, we would play barbies everything. And when we moved to  the United States she would come along with me. My parents had brought her with us. But, in time she decided to move back with her mom, because of her mom she was moving back. Eventually we grew apart and we grew older and now we have our own families we’re married with our husbands, but we do keep in contact sometimes.


VS: How did you feel about having to move to the United State of America?]

DS: When I first found out I was moving to the United States I felt  scared. But part of me was excited because I was coming somewhere new, somewhere where nobody knew me or who knew who I was. I was also afraid of a lot of things, I was afraid of being alone, I was afraid of not having a lot of friends and I was afraid of not being able to understand them because of the language because I was coming from another country where I only spoke Spanish and everybody else English . Once I was here everything was better than what I expected.


 VS: Was it hard making new friends here?


DS: Like I said it was scary but thank god I made friends right away. I heard stories about kids coming from Mexico and because they didn’t know how to speak the language. So that something I was really afraid of. Even though that was not the case, everybody was so nice to me, I would still cry like before I would go to school because I didn’t want to go. For some reason I was still scared, but I am very grateful that throughout all my school year I never struggled making friends, I was never bullied.

VS: What did you miss the most from Mexico when you first moved here? 


DS: Well what I missed the most was the food. That something that I still miss the taste of the food here is not the same as the food out there everything is organic and healthy and people grow their own food and they kill their own chicken and their own eggs everything. Also when I barely came I really missed my family, my grandparents, my cousins, my neighbors everybody.


VS: Would you like to move back or visit?


DS: I would love to go back, but just to visit not to move back. I feel like I would be lost if I were to go back since I’ve been living out here for like almost my entire life and I made a life here so there’s a lot of things that changed and especially Mexico, Mexico was not the same as before, like out here I have everything out here.


VS: Okay thank you for the interview.