identities

Here’s What It’s Like To Speak English And Move To Mexico In The Middle Of Your Childhood

03/21/16 Omar Villegas

Credit: Ben Donnellon / Vimeo

“I feel more American than Mexican.”

What happens when you’re an American kid, born to Mexican parents, who ends up moving to Mexico? A new documentary, “Una Vida, Dos Paises,” tackles the story of “transfronterizos,” young children who must adapt to life in their parents’ home country.

Many of the children, who grow up speaking English, are faced with the challenge of fitting in at schools where they struggle with Spanish. Some are called names such as “gringo” for not speaking Spanish. Others deal with fractured families, where one parent stays behind in the U.S. to work and provide for the family in Mexico.

One of the filmmakers, Tatyana Kleyn, told the New York Times her experience as a Latvian immigrant in the U.S. helped her relate: “I saw what it was like through the eyes of my parents when you come to this country and you don’t speak the language.”

READ: A Documentary Tells The Story Of Latinas Who Were Sterilized Without Knowing It

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