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MIRIAM ALVAREZ

Software Engineer at SegundaMano

It was a shock coming back to Mexico because you feel lied to. People would tell me that I'm not American, or not even Mexican American. So I thought, “Really, what am I?" I lived my entire life in the U.S., and Mexico felt like a totally foreign country. It was really scary at first. I couldn't read, I couldn't write Spanish. I could barely speak it. In school I would keep quiet so people wouldn’t make fun of my accent. I tried enrolling at a university but they wouldn’t accept my American documentation. That was literally all I had.

But now, eight years after I returned to Mexico, I’ve finally found a place where speaking English is an asset, and the only language I really needs to know is HTML. Coding seems like a puzzle to me: it's like filling in the pieces. I don't like being told something's wrong — I like figuring it out for myself. And the people here become like family. Living in the U.S., you're living in a bubble. Once you’re out of it, you can see all the flaws that need to be changed in order to make it as great as people think it is.