Watched Over, Cared For, and Loved: A Human Rights Story

About twenty five years ago I came to the U.S. with dreams of working here and starting a family,  but have never forgotten where I came from. I am proud of my Mexican heritage. I started my family early and married young. For 15 years, I was a victim of domestic violence. I did not know how to get out or get help. There were days I had no food to feed my small children. Although those days are long gone, and I remarried a wonderful man, those tough times fueled my desire to help others. 

I am a caregiver by nature, which has been my formal career for 10 years now. I also go to school at night and am studying to become a medical assistant. I want to be able to help those I care for in case there is a medical emergency. I love the work that I do, helping others fills me with purpose.

The field I work in has taught me so much, mainly how unevenly resources are allocated. I see inequalities, and a lack of resources distributed to underserved communities. I connect this to racism, and it makes me angry. I believe everyone deserves equal resources in addition to being treated with dignity and respect. Sadly, not everyone feels that way. I also see that many people who migrate here don’t know how to access resources or get help when they are struggling. It reminds me of when I came to this country and had no help. 

Four years ago I began working as a caregiver for an autistic boy who was seven years old. I called him my little angel; we taught each other so much. When I first met him, he used diapers and had difficulty interacting with others. But as I began to gain his trust, I was able to teach him to be more independent. I showed him how to bounce a ball, play at the park, and do so many simple yet fun things that made him smile. I loved him like family. 

My job was to protect him. I remember one time I took my little angel to an indoor jumping place and there was a woman who decided to cause a scene; she humiliated us in the most awful way. I remember just hugging him and speaking to the manager. Luckily they had cameras and the manager took the responsibility of escorting that awful woman out. That is just one of experiences I’ve had with ignorant people who have no respect for people with special needs.

When I found Yo Soy Tu Voz, I knew I belonged. We stand against inequality and racism. We advocate for human rights. My little angel and his family went back to their country when the pandemic started. I was left with a hole in my heart, for I was attached to that little angel. I pray that he is being watched over, cared for, and loved.

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Laura Villalobos

Laura Villalobos

Laura Villalobos is originally from the state of Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico. She is a parent leader at Yo Soy Tu Voz. She helps families advocate for their needs; especially those with children who have special needs. She is passionate about helping people and empowering parents to advocate for the resources needed now and for their future. Laura is a caregiver in the city of San Jose, CA. She is married with two adult children and her youngest child, who is seven years old.

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