JOANNA BARTLETT
June 17, 2017
PRIYA SINGH
June 17, 2017

SANDRA LOZANO

“I was born in 1971 in El Salvador/Honduras. I was conceived by a non-consensual act during the war. My family was part of a group that was displaced due to the war in 1969 between El Salvador and Honduras. The U.S. military were training in Honduras at that time and thousands of Salvadoreños were killed or displaced back to their homeland. Some were placed in concentration camps and some were placed in train wagons where they kept the animals. Some were being sent back to concentration camps created by the Red Cross and the military in rural areas. My family was sent to Quezaltepeque, El Salvador. So much pain and courage came out of that experience. When I was 8 years old, my grandparents decided to leave El Salvador due to the civil war since so many of our family members were being killed, or would disappear, or were being targeted for speaking up. Young women and men were being taken to help fight the war. My grandfather decided to bring me to the USA. He first helped my birth mother and her siblings get to the USA. After traveling for many long months and crossing four borders we arrived in Irvine, California in 1979. A year later we were able to help my grandmother and my other siblings and cousins come too. We were finally all together after almost 7 years of being displaced. Los Angeles became home to me and my family. We all worked really hard to make monthly needs: dumpster diving, recycling newspaper and aluminum, selling fruits and working in the fields. We all knew the value of hard work and we do. I come from a strong line of women warriors and leaders, healers, and farm workers who live from the land and are good hearted, honest, humble people. Being immigrants in the USA these days is pretty painful. So many of the things this new Government is about serve as a trigger points. It’s the same way we left our homeland due to the war caused by these governments and corporations. Now, I am having to fight for my rights once again here in the USA. But I also realize that I carry lots of privileges being a citizen of this country. This is the reason I’m continually active with my family and community. It’s rough being a person of color, especially for young immigrants. I’m doing whatever it takes to continue helping my Spanish speaking immigrant community get to know their rights and not let the pressure of this world and the new #NotMYpresident take our rights and our joy. I am staying strong! I am a proud, queer, immigrant with lots of smiles to give.”

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