I come from riding the tops of freight trains across la bestia, flying across the Atlantic Ocean, hiding beneath clothes in a pickup truck headed for Los Angeles. I come from farming, shoemaking, scavenging, construction, demolition, busing tables. I come from my long-distance love for the family I left behind, my devotion to the family that came with me, my dreams for the family I created here. I come from being a citizen, refugee, resident, alien — I come from being American.
Aqui Estoy. I am here. In Chicago, in Albany Park, in the audience, on the stage. Aqui Estoy.