My Name’s Challenge

Santiago Delgado. A long name to speak but fragile to discuss. Why? was the question I asked myself every single day on the courtyard of Monroe Elementary School every time a classmate screamed my name, waving his hands encouraging me to play another game of soccer. Why did my parents give me a name that sounded so Mexican? Why did my Parents give me a name that does not match the country that we are in? An English name. Yes! More like Robert, Michael, Douglas. Anything but Santiago!

Traveling to the smallest village in Mexico, in my eyes, is challenging. Cramped in a minivan where laws aren’t enforced in a land controlled by gangs and other mischievous people, at any moment you can be stopped and have every possible belonging you have on you taken. “Your roots” was the phrase my parents and grandparents kept using. As if I were a tree and this was where my seed had originated and been carried by the wind across thousands of miles, to my true roots, America. Not this tiny place in the middle of nowhere, in a place that doesn’t even have roads. But the stories that I heard sitting on this famous couch that has been passed down generation through generation, sitting in this exact home, were the most memorable thing I have experienced. “Your great-grandfather” were the first words I heard when entering the long-standing home, only to realize that his name was Santiago Delgado. “He lived ninety-nine long years, raised over twenty kids, and fought in the Mexican Revolution, one of Mexico’s greatest historic movements where people of all classes came together and fought for the country that we see today.” I could not have imagined that two sentences could make a profound change in my opinion and vision of my name.

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