Community Portraits
Meet Thania

"My name is Thania, and I live in Gouldsboro, Maine. I describe myself as a really quiet and shy person. But at the same time strong, and... I’m a mother.

 

I was born in Atlanta, GA. My dad is from Mexico and my mom is from Honduras.

 

My family came to Maine a while ago, a really long time ago, like almost 17 years ago, and we pretty much grew up in Maine our whole lives. And I’ve started a family here now in Maine. I’m 22 years old.

 

My parents always worked in camps, like in Florida and Georgia, they traveled a lot. And we came here for the blueberry season, and I guess my parents liked it here, so they decided to stay. There [my mom] started a restaurant and a Mexican store. So that’s pretty much where we grew up is working at the store.

 

I think we had the restaurant for 10 years, it was a long time that they had it. [My parents] also did other stuff—they worked in Lubec, they worked at the fish factory, and in Milbridge they worked at the fish factory as well.  So they did different stuff.

Yeah, we ended up closing because my parents they got deported. So that’s why we ended up closing. They got deported out of the country so we were just left with family, my grandmother for a little while. She took care of us. And then I graduated. I graduated in 2013, started working, and then we moved to Florida for a little bit. And worked in campgrounds as well. We worked in the strawberry harvest in Florida, blueberries in NC, did wreaths and baskets in NC during the winter season, then we moved back here for the blueberry season and we decided to stay here after that.

A lot of people knew my parents. There are a lot of Hispanics who go to the store and see me and go, 'oh, I knew your parents and they were always so good,' and it’s just like I was little and I didn’t know who they were. It amazes me how many people that thought good of my parents.

When they got deported it was really hard on us because we didn’t have them through graduation, like graduating 8th grade, and even high school, we didn’t have them there. And it’s just something that you want your parents to be there for. Unfortunately, we didn’t have them there. It was hard, but we also had a lot of family members that helped us through that. We also had really close friends that helped us through everything.

 

Right now I’m working at [a grocery store] and I either work as a cashier or at the coffee shop. I also do customer service, so I kind of do different things everyday.

 

I like art, like drawing and stuff. That really is something I’m into, but other than that I pretty much just stay at home with [my daughter] or go see my sister in Bangor when I can. Nothing too exciting.


I think I like the community, it’s small and everybody knows each other. It’s really calm and quiet most if the time, its not like living down south, where there are so much crimes and a lot of stuff going on, it's crazy. But over here it’s always so calm, I like the schools as well.  I grew up going to Harrington Elementary, I liked it there, the teachers were always so helpful.

I think the most challenging thing for families coming here is finding a place to rent and live. We don’t really have a lot of housing options.

I think what mostly influenced me is not having my parents. It was hard, but you know it kind of makes you think you always have to appreciate having them there with you. I always worked hard in school, whether they were there or not, I mean I know that they’re part of me. That’s influential.

[Being a parent] has been a really great experience.  I don’t have my mom or my dad to have her… she’s their first granddaughter, and they haven’t seen her yet. It’s hard watching her grow up and not have her grandparents there, too. But I love being a mother, you know, I learn new things from her all the time. She’s getting big, growing fast, learning a lot of stuff every day, it’s a blessing.

I haven’t been able to see them. My sister went two years ago to see both of them. I had my daughter, and we’ve had problems here and there trying to find a date to go, but I talk to them every week, and they call me. I send them pictures through Facebook or online and stuff, so they get to see [their grand daughter].

 

I wold like to graduate and get an educational degree to become a teacher one day. And find a place of our own, a home, for ourselves."

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