The Impact of Resilient Parents

Yadira Alonso, Contributing Writer

In the early 2000s, my parents decided to migrate to Chicago from Guerrero, Mexico, looking for better jobs to provide a better life for their children. My parents, Clara Espinoza and Bernardo Alonso sacrificed everything they had to come to a new country. They left behind their two biggest blessings, myself and my younger brother, to be able to provide us with better educational opportunities. My mom left behind her mom along with the rest of her family, and my dad left behind eight of his siblings.

Upon their arrival, their main goal was to save money to pay a coyote to bring their children to Chicago. During that time my mom worked as a waitress in a Mexican restaurant and my dad worked at a pizzeria restaurant. They both worked over 40 hours a week, and barely had time to spend with each other. However, ten years later they had enough money to bring myself and my brother to the U.S. They suffered in silence for not being able to spend our childhood with us, but in the end, they knew it would all be worth it. Once my brother and I arrived to Chicago, my parents got divorced— they each went their ways. However, they knew that my brother and I would always unite them, therefore, they promised to always have a friendly relationship and set any personal problems to the side. 

Clara Espinoza serving up some delicious fruta preparada.
Bernardo Alonso enjoying a beautiful day Navy Pier.

Since my mom had arrived to Chicago, she always wanted to start her own business. She had always dreamt of having her own restaurant or another small business. She started her first business by opening up a restaurant in Albany Park. She was very enthusiastic and was very hopeful for its success. For over three years, the restaurant ran well and we all contributed in any way we could.  my mom was able to hire six people, provide for her family, and increase her network. However, after having her fourth child she had to make the hardest decision and sell the restaurant. My youngest brother was born and needed special care. My siblings and I were too young and she did not trust anyone else to take over her business. After selling her business, my mom worked in restaurants as lead cook and in bakeries. She has never let her status define who she is as a worker. Many of her employers recommended her to try to start another business.  

During the process, my mom struggles to overcome all the obstacles she had to face. Now that I think about it, even though my mom’s immigration was not at her advantage, she still managed to accomplish her dream. Due to her busy schedule, she also sacrificed a lot of time. It was almost impossible to spend all day with her. However, her resilience and dedication have helped keep a positive mindset and pass it down to my siblings and I. 

Later on, she started her own flower business. With the help of friends and relatives, my mom was thriving for success for the second time. She enjoyed being her own supervisor and having time to spend with her children. She has always enjoyed being her own boss and not have a regular 9-5pm job. Now she does many things like fully decorate parties, for instance, she does table decorations and balloons. At the same time, she works at a well-known restaurant in Albany Park and enjoys her time there on the weekends. This past summer, my mom also decided to have a fruit stand near NEIU. She was very successful and is planning to start something bigger. 

 My dad has become a strong ally and always supports her. I feel very blessed to know that my dad and step-dad have a civilized relationship and support my mom no matter what. 

My mom hustles 24/7 and she never rests. She is always looking for ways to improve her way of life and teach us that there are no obstacles that we can’t overcome. I am lucky to have parents that never gave up on my siblings and I, till this day they keep hustling and thriving. Even with our current political climate, my parents insist to show the world that not all immigrants are criminals. My mom and dad have always taught me to have a strong work ethic and work hard for our dreams. 

Every day I wake up, my mom always reminds me to be a chingona. I will never forget her everyday phrase: “Yadira, ponte chingona.” I want to thank my mom and dad for being role models to what resilience means because it has helped me achieve many of my goals. 


Yadira Alonzo
Yadira and her family smiling for the camera.