19. She is a reluctant protestor: DACA recipient Lorena Mateos marches along Nashville’s West End Avenue to guard the only home she has known.

Cumberland University student and DACA recipient Lorena Mateos participates in her first march, West End Ave., Nashville, October 2017.

She is a reluctant “protestor,” she said.

She said she doesn’t like to speak up or cause problems. But she came to West End Ave on this day because she worries. Nashville is the only home she has ever known, she said. She moved here with her family from Mexico when she was two years old. She said she was proud to walk the streets and she felt a deep sense of pride seeing the diverse crowd marching alongside her and other young people.

Her family: Their legal status is a question mark. And yet they are proud to be here and proud contributors, she said. They own a business they founded that pays taxes and employees twenty people. They hope to stay.

She said she has had no interest in arguing politics. She does not wish to protest. But she knows silence will not help her. She is afraid. She said if she is to remain here in the U.S. it will require someone in politics to make a decision. So she marches in hopes that “someone” will see. And what she hopes they will see is that “DACA” may be four letters, but the people it represents are people with real lives just like her.

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