“Primero Muerta Antes Que Perder La Vida”

For the first time in a long time I feel content with where I am at. There are no words to describe how I feel right now, but it is the same feeling as when you look into the sky after the storm and somehow it just seems all the more beautiful than the day before. And it’s a great feeling. The first couple weeks of when I was preparing to come to Idaho and my first few weeks officially working has been hard. A series of unfortunate events occurred before I set of to Idaho & without school, friends, and family to keep my mind busy there was time to think. To think about what it would have been like if my friend was still able to send a message. What it would have been like to joke around. What it would have been like to call him up and say “Hey, LOUIS! It’s been awhile!” He would have the biggest laugh and smile anyone would ever see. And somehow that laugh and smile would be super contagious and you would just be caught in the middle of giggling fit. Now, I can only imagine how interactions would have been like if he was still around. I know my father was not too happy about me coming here. My mother was much less. I did not leave because I do not love them or that I loathe the neighborhood I live in. Or because I am bored with my life back at home. I do not go out because I cannot stand being around family.View in the Afternoon I just love to go out and check things out. I know there is this fear that revolves around my family to make them think that the world is a dangerous place. And it is. There is no doubt. But, I cannot let that fear embody me. Because everything that I see through my own eyes and experience I am grateful for. I love my hometown, I love going on walks, I love watching my favorite episodes of The Simpsons on TV, I LOVE TO GO OUT. I just cannot NOT do it. And that’s because there is so much left to see and experience. And it is just beautiful. But I know I am no saint. I know I have consistently made my mom worry. I know staying out late without letting her know that I am safe just eats her up. I know that as the clock strikes 1:00am she tosses and turns hoping to not receive a call from anyone else, but me. But there usually wasn’t one and she’ll slowly slip away into a night sleep filled with fear, angst, and sadness.  But after all that consistent worrying and inconsiderate mind set I put her through, I deserved her silence. Regardless if I needed her the most at the time of my friend’s passing. There is and was no excuse. But I am not a Beelzebub either. I know that being involved here with the National Park Service is causing a change. Is it a major revolution? No. But! I am here for a reason bigger than my own. I am here to show to myself and others that things are not impossible. I can do some pretty cool tricks and have some interesting talents, but I am no wiz. I cannot fix cars like my housemate, or have as many stories to tell. I am not as confident nor have a super friendly aura around me that make people naturally like me. I am me. I come from The Valley and I come from a town that is filled with culture. I come from a Craters of the Moontown that is 98% Latino based and is in poverty, but the people from my neighborhood have a big heart. Sometimes dreams to continue to go to school or continue pursuing what they want is hard to have in the neighborhood. But, something I want everyone to know is to keep going forward. And to not get stuck in the same cycle or get to comfortable because life is short to be playing it safe all the time. I took a risk to come out here to Idaho. It is nothing like home! There are no street lights, street racing, bicycles, eloteros, and tamaleros in the morning yell “TAMALLLLLLLEEEESSS”. Don’t get me wrong, I have encountered some very nice people and at the same time some equally hateful ones. Regardless of those snares or sly comments i endure, I will continue to learn new skills and experience this chapter in my life to the fullest. The air here is just filled with sounds of the mountain. And believe me it is indescribable. Working at Craters of the Moon has definitely given me the opportunity to showcase my skills and it’s great to meet people from all across the world. I only hope that during my time here I am able to increase the amount of Latino visitors if only by one person. Because that one person could be the start of a domino effect within the Latino community to come out and explore!    

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