Guatemalan woman earns prized citizenship papers

Brenda Burton traveled a long and difficult road to become a citizen of the United States.

Her tenacity paid off Oct. 28 when she and 109 other people were sworn in as citizens of the United States in a ceremony in Dallas.

A native of Guatemala, Josefina Alvarez first came to the United States when she was only 14 years old. She and one of her brothers traveled to southern California to find jobs.

An earthquake had devastated Guatemala several years earlier and her father’s welding business was going through hard economic times.

Josefina took a job as a maid while her brother worked at anything he could find.

‘They were struggling,’ she said. ‘We sent all of our money home.’

The two emigrants did not enter the United States illegally, though.

Her father made sure that she had a passport and a visa when she came to this country.

Josefina returned home more than a year later, finished school and trained to become a bilingual secretary.

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