Unbreakable Abuela


Masielle Pantoja’s Abuela

Masielle Pantoja, Reporter/Social Media Editor/Webmaster

A powerful woman. A woman who stands up for what she believes in, a woman who overcomes adversity, and a woman who is chiefly courageous. These qualities of a powerful woman are embedded within my abuela.
As an immigrant woman coming from a foreign country, it was not easy to adapt to the environment of the United States. Her native tongue could not fathom the English language and nor could her relationship with this new found place.
With three daughters and a working husband, she did all she could little by little to surpass the obstacles life was throwing at her. When moving to the U.S. she and her family moved from place to place, job to job, and from school to school. This involved living in trailers and the homes of friends or relatives. All while she worked tirelessly in fields picking grapes with her back aching in agony under the scorching sun or her tender hands swiftly moving at the quick pace in packing houses. Meanwhile her children transferred from Indianola, to Garfield, and then to Eric White Elementary.
In the midst of this she was bordered with non-stop discrimination getting called “alien,” “trespasser,” and even “job stealer.” Her dark eyes and skin and broken English were deceiving, portraying her as less than what she was. She didn’t let that get in the way of her pride of getting a better life for her family. Her bravery allowed her to break through the vicious words that hit her and family daily.
My abuela, pushing aside her strenuous journey, has since then became a homeowner, a supervisor at a packing house, and has gotten her three daughters through college. All of which have been lucky enough to carry their mothers strength and courage, becoming powerful women of their own.