Though bilingual and a U.S. citizen, Vourvoulias still faced the struggles that are common in building a life in a new country. “It was really difficult, a huge amount of culture shock.” Her family landed in rural Pennsylvania and she and her siblings were the first foreign students at their school. “They didn’t know how to assess us,” she recalls.
Vourvoulias says that while she is ashamed of speaking only two languages, she is truly appreciative of the life she has built as a professional woman, wife and mother in the U.S. “I have had a lot more opportunities and latitude to make mistakes, latitude to try out a lot of different avenues that I’m not entirely sure I’d have been able in Guatemala.”
FOLLOWING THE LEDE
In her blog, she covers first person accounts of undocumented workers and their struggles. But she decided that fiction was the best avenue for her to face what she describes as a growing anti-immigrant and Latino discourse that is no longer centered on documentation. “The complaints you hear are far more cultural, frequently they suggest a dominant culture that doesn’t like the influx of another culture.”