Starting from Scratch

The Texas Story Project.

Lizeth Garcia had her “dream job” as she described it. When she lived in Mexico she used to work in “Grupo Radio Alegria” where she used to meet famous artists in Mexico and helped conduct interviews. She had gone to a school that specializes in making people into great secretaries. With that training, she got her dream job and was able to progress in her career. The same thing could have been said about her husband who worked as a sheriff in Monterrey. This, however, came to a sudden stop. Her husband’s family realized that his line of work put him in danger. They urged Mrs. Garcia to go to the United States for a better future. Mrs. Garcia also believed that this would be a great idea for the sake of her two children.

The first job she had when she moved to the United States was working in an ice cream truck, which was shared between her husband and her. The profit they made together was not enough so she went out in search of another job. The degree she had obtained in Mexico as secretary no longer had any use for her. She began working as a housekeeper in hotels cleaning bathrooms and rooms. Her first two days on the job she described them as “dreadful.” She returned home work at 2 am with a fever and all she could do was take medicine, go to sleep,and hope that the next day would be better.

As months went by working at the hotel, many of the managers began to notice Mrs. Garcia’s work. They promoted her as a supervisor in her first six months of working there. That’s when the problems began. She described her experience as a nightmare. During this time, she would carpool with her sisters to get to work. On one occasion after getting out of work they went to get into the car when they noticed that someone had broken a glass bottle and place it at the back of one of the wheels in hopes of the tire getting punctured. Mrs. Garcia believed that this was done out of anger after she was promoted since she heard some workers saying racist things when they thought she wasn’t listening.

A couple of years passed and Mrs. Garcia decided to move to another job in hopes that she could get away from the racism in the workplace. She ended up finding a job at the University Health System Hospital, where she was later promoted to the Robert B. Green Hospital. This is what brought joy back to her life involving her work. After years of working in jobs that she didn’t particularly like in order to help support her family a little bit more, she began to work as a receptionist.

Mrs. Garcia states that she “wouldn’t change anything in the world” because all though she suffered while she climbed her way up to finally obtain her “dream job” again, she learned so many things. What kept her going was the thought of seeing her kids grow up and eventually become someone in life, something that couldn’t have happened if they had not moved to Texas.


Debanhi Garcia is a first-year student attending St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science Biology in hope of getting into medical school to pursue a career as a medical examiner. She is also earning a minor in English in hopes of broadening her horizon.

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