Julio Padilla

Dear Julio,

Hi, how are you? How is your life going? In your neighborhood is everything still the same? Are you still going to the same high school? Are you still playing soccer? Are you still having the same girlfriend? How many?

Do you remember all the people that lived in your old neighborhood and the house that you were living in when you were child? Your old neighborhood is better now. There are a lot of different people. There are more Mexicans now. When you were living there, there were a lot of white people. The house that you lived in when you were a teenager is still there but the people that live in there now made the house bigger. They painted the house and there is a new family that has a lot of children living in your old house.

Do you remember the guy that you were always fighting with? He finished college and now he has he own company. All the people that were addicted to drugs, they don’t live in the neighborhood any more. In their houses, live nice and friendly people. You know when you were a teenager that your neighborhood was all dirty with trash on the street, windows broken and all the houses were in bad condition? That was in the past. Now we have a new owner in the neighborhood and he fixed all the houses and he pays other people to come and clean the street and everything outside every 15 days.

When I came to live for the first time in that neighborhood, I was feeling too bad about the neighborhood because it was all dirty with drugs, bad people and everything looked terrible. Now, with the passing of the years, it has started to change to a better place. Now we don’t have a lot of bad things like drugs, or trash in the street, and in the neighborhood we have nice and friendly people. That makes me happy because in our neighborhood there are a lot of children and they don’t have to live like me in the past that was full of drugs, gangs and all of those things.

My family says that they are comfortable in our neighborhood now because everything changed and it is much better than before.


Julio (50 years old)

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