A journey of success


Magalie Huertero

Hilda Vergera-Huertero (left) with her husband, Junior (center), and daughter, Magalie (right)

Olivia Lore and (edited by) Lance Jenson

The journey of an immigrant isn’t easy when moving to a land that seems like another planet. To find success there is even harder when you can’t even speak the language of those around you. However, this hardship doesn’t stop people from trying to make a better life for themselves and their families. As they say, nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.

Hilda Vergara-Huertero, the mother of GNA sophomore Magalie, came to the United States in 1991 and made a life for herself in this unfamiliar country. Today, she lives here, Nanticoke, PA, with a family she had made for herself and a job she had worked hard to get.

The life she has now did not come easy to her or her family. Back in her hometown of Sentana, Mexico, life was very simple. The people of her town worked hard on the farms, made just enough money to get by, and had little luxuries. Hilda’s parents, however, wanted more for their family’s future. In 1989, the hard decision of moving to the U.S. was made. Hilda’s parents had left her with her grandmother as they headed for the U.S. They had spent two years in Brooklyn, New York working and earning enough money to support Hilda.

When Hilda had officially moved into the U.S. with her parents, she was only twelve years old. In New York, she had attended sixth grade in a public school. School was very difficult for her because of the language barrier between herself and the teachers, and not to mention, there were few classes that could help her with her academics as a result. That did not stop her, because getting the education she needed was her number one priority and she would do whatever it took to succeed. Every day after school, she would complete her homework by translating every word from a dictionary and did not stop until she had eventually learned the English language. The sacrifices her parents had made kept her motivated even through the challenges she faced in her education. She had kept her grades high all throughout her middle and high school years and even came out on top as valedictorian of her 1997 class. 

After high school, Hilda had badly wanted to attend college and had the grades to do so, but because of her legal status as an undocumented immigrant, she could not. With this status, she would not be able to apply for any financial aid or scholarships and her parents would not be able to pay for her college education in full. The process of becoming a citizen of this country, however, was very long and hard, especially because both of her parents were still undocumented immigrants themselves. She did not let this obstacle get in the way of her striving to push forward with her life, as she had then set out to find her occupation as an export analyst, which was a suitable job for her experience with being bilingual. 

Hilda had then really started to make a life for herself. Not long out of high school she was married to Junior Huertero, whom she had known since she was younger, but had reconnected with again in high school. After getting married, she and her newly wedded husband had decided to have their first child and move to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, which was far less expensive than living in Brooklyn, New York.

In 2007, she finally gained her citizenship. After living in Wilkes-Barre for about six years, she had her second child, and then she had her third child two years later. Hilda decided that she didn’t want to settle in Wilkes-Barre and had been on the lookout for what she calls her “dream house.” Eventually, she had found exactly what she was looking for and had moved to Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, where she lives today.

As Hilda explained it, her life in America is better than she could have imagined and has been full of opportunities – not opportunities that were just given, but the opportunities that were worked for. She feels that the U.S. had given her more success than Mexico ever could have, even if she had worked as hard and long as she did here. Coming from a country with nothing and making something out of it is one of her greatest accomplishments, and she is forever grateful for the life she has now.

Seeking a better life for one’s family through hard work, sacrifice and dedication is admirable, and Hilda is an example of why America is called the land of opportunity.