Latinx Flint NEWS
Meet Janet Cano: Somos Latinx
By Alondra Rosas Ornelas | Latinx Flint Media
“I would tell my younger self that life is beautiful. Dreams come true. One should always trust in God and do everything with love, no matter what it is.” – Janet Cano
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FLINT, Michigan – Somos Latinx serves to highlight and connect community members in Flint & Genesee County. Recognizing the experiences of families and individuals in our community reveals the complex experience of Latinx Life in the United States and in our local community. Somos Latinx drives civic engagement and awareness, such as the 2020 Census.
The following is a conversation between Latinx Flint Media and Janet Cano:
Where are you from?
When did you move to the United States?
Two years ago on July 29.
What was the reason for coming here?
Well, because of the political situation in my country. We began to suffer many deprivations even though my husband and I had a job. I had been working for 25 years at my job. We began to see that what we earned was not enough for us and we did not get the things we needed; the basics, the food, the water, the light. Also, what drove us the most was our daughter’s future. So we decided to leave. My husband came first and after a year and a half my daughter and I came.
What was the hardest part of that process?
Look, the difficult thing is not seen the moment you say that you want to go or I’m going to leave. The difficult part is when you arrive at the destination. This country has welcomed us with open arms and we have met wonderful people from day one. God has placed angels in our path and blessed us. But, those who stay there in your country, you cannot bring that in a suitcase, your people, your friends, the flavors, the weather.
What has been the happiest day of your life?
When I got married and when my daughter was born. I think those have been the greatest moments of my life. The day I got married I got the man I had always prayed to God to send me. And, of course, when they told me welcome to the United States.
What would you tell your younger self?
I would tell her that life is beautiful. Dreams come true. One should always trust in God and do everything with love, no matter what it is. My mom also told me that you should never curse. Life should never be cursed, our job should never be cursed. So, I would tell young Janet just that, what my mom taught me. Love God above all things and trust in Him. Do your job with love and never curse anything.
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What do you miss the most about Venezuela?
What I miss the most are the flavors. The flavors of my food, the cheese, so many things, and despite meeting wonderful people here, that feeling of the Venezuelan is missed. The customs, the food, the family, the friends.
What is an obstacle you went through and overcame?
Well, I believe that the obstacle that I overcame once I became a mom, was the abandonment of my mother. My mother abandoned me when I was two years old. And well, when one is small one does not feel that. Thanks to God He always puts little angels in my path and an older lady received me. She was my mom until she died at 94. I was already married and had my daughter. After I had my daughter, I began to ask these questions: Why does a mother abandon her child? So many questions came that I asked before. Why didn’t I have more siblings? Why didn’t I have a family with a dad, mom, and siblings? All of that. Then I understood that God does things and moves things in His own way. He used the lady who gave me life for simply that, just to bring me into the world. Then he gave me my mother, the older woman. She taught me to believe in God above all things and to work and that even if the work being done is insignificant to someone else’s eyes, I should do it with love. She taught me to do all things with love. She first taught me the love of God and then the value of work. Also, she taught me that if I was going to make a family, that my family was the priority, and that has been the main thing for me from the moment in Venezuela when we began to go through so many problems. My family was always my priority.
My husband had been in the United States for a year and a half and I couldn’t be alone with just my daughter, I had to be with my family. It was a whole process and a miracle from God to come to the United States. Leaving Venezuela was a miracle from God. They closed the Embassy of the United States to Venezuela. So, where would I get a visa? I thought about going to another country. Maybe we could go to Chile or Columbia, but what about my husband? No, I couldn’t do that, so I asked God, “ My God, you have to give me a miracle. If it is in your plans that I go to the United States, open the doors for me.” The Embassy then opened. Everyone told me that they were not going to give me a Visa, but I am a woman that will do everything she sets her mind to. Well, when I went, my visa was granted.
When my daughter and I arrived at the airport, they didn’t let me fly with my daughter. They told me that I needed a travel permit from my husband. I showed the letter that my husband had given me and they did not want to accept it. Again I prayed, “My God, take that person away from me, please.” I knelt on the airport floor, I remember, and Evelin (daughter) would tell me, “Mom, don’t cry. Mommy, we have to get out of here. We will get out of here.” I could not go back to Barquisimeto. We had to go to Valencia to be able to leave and returning to Barquisimeto implied that I had no money, I had nothing, what was I going to do? I said, “No God, please let a miracle happen.” We went back to immigration and the girl who had rejected my papers previously was still there. As I approached her again, I was praying. At that moment, the woman’s phone rang and left and another person took her spot. The new person allowed me to proceed onto the plane. Later, they unloaded all my suitcases because they saw something suspicious there. They were my daughter’s bowling balls. And when the guard opened the suitcase, the other guard said, “I told you, it’s bowling balls.”
Leaving Venezuela brought us a lot of tears until we could not cry anymore. When I got here to Miami, the only thing the guard said to me was, “Welcome to the United States.” When we got to Detroit and I saw my husband I said, “We made it.”
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