I am a Fronteriza

el coyote

By Diana Torres∞

La Frontera makes the difference between one culture to another. I am a fronteriza and I became this without realizing. This happened when I was twenty-one years old. At that time I started to cross the border every day. Without knowing the language and American culture, I took the risk to live the “American Dream”.  I started to work and study in San Diego with the aim to give a better life to my daughter. Every time that I cross the border I feel that I am traversing through a magic tunnel that brings me from one world to another. According with Gloria Anzaldua in her book, Borderlands, Las Fronteras, The New Meztizaje, the borderline not only divided two countries, this one also created a third; the border culture. In the third country lives “Los Atravezados” (the crossed); “the squint-eyed, the perverse, the queer, the troublesome, the mongrel, the mulato, the half-breed, the half dead; in short, those who cross over, pass over, or go through the confines of the “normal”(25). Anglos consider them transgressors aliens even if they have documents or not, whether they are Chicanos, Indians or Blacks. The only rightful residents are those in power, the Whites and those only rub with their pallid tribe. When I cross to San Ysidro I find myself in the “atravezados” country. I do not feel that I am in America neither in Mexico. Here, live the multi- culture. Here you can perceive the outcast environment. I see people working so hard, excited to receive the minimum pay, without benefits. I can perceive their fear to lose their job if they demand their rights. Furthermore, I feel how border patrol looks at us like as inferior– even worse if you look Indian, Black, Chicano or poor. And if you do they would harass you. They would pass you for a second inspection, to check if you have Ebola or any gun, to make sure you are not a threat for their territory which is so “clean”, so “right”, so “peaceful”.