By: Antonio Gil Santiago
Its 12:30 p.m. on a boiling Saturday morning. A young man stands next to the exit door on a Jet Blue terminal. He is waiting for the arrival of his family members, the ones he hasn’t see since 2011. The young man has a mustache of sweat, on his face he projects the anxiety that has been cooking inside since arriving at the airport.
“Welcome home mom!” exclaimed the young man.
“I’ve been missing this place since I left,” said “Windy”
“It has been a year and a half since you were here,” said the youngster.
“It has been a year and a half that I have missed you with all my heart!” said “Windy”
They both hug each other for minutes until a really white boy came.
“I want to be part of that! “The boy screamed.
Widalys González, mother of two who with affection call her “Windy”, has been working since 2004 with the Coca – Cola Company in Rochester NY. Windy is a fit, white woman. She is a five feet seven inches blonde with the body of a teenager. Her baby like, line free face, straight hair and youthful appearance show less than the 36 years she actually has.
“I got my degree in chemistry, but didn’t get a good job offer, so I decided to look for the opportunity in the U.S.,” she mentions. “I left with both of my kids, to Rochester to my mom’s house in 2004.”
As a 26 year old single mother she left P.R. “I left on May 27 of 2004 when my older son Felix finished his fourth grade.” She left everything she had behind looking for a better job offer and a good salary. Windy had her own house and car. “At the moment I left without thinking about the things I was leaving here.” After she mentions that, her face changed in just a matter of seconds, her face went from happy to almost dropping tears. “I left my family.” she cried.
According to ‘Human Resources in Science and Technology: Measurement issues and International Mobility’ the salaries are in favor of the countries that are most developed. The investigation said that smaller countries have more exoduses of professionals than the big ones.
When Windy started working, everything was running fine but she notices something. When she started her kids were on vacation but when school started weeks passed and she didn’t see her son. “One time three weeks passed and I couldn’t see my son Felix because he was in school and I had the 2nd turn.” Those shifts are from 2 P.M. until 11 P.M. and when she was working her son was out of school; when she got out he was sleeping.
After a couple of years of living in Rochester her son came to P.R. on summer vacations. He fell in love with the island. Felix wanted to stay to live there. “I wanted to stay because I love the weather and I can go out when I want, is better than N.Y.” Felix said with his eyes full of tears. Windy was not happy with her son’s decision to leave her and his little brother in N.Y.
She said while tears came down her face “My world was coming down when he decided to live in P.R. I went to U.S. to give the best to my kids because I have a great salary compared to the ones in the island and I end up losing one of the loves of my life.” According to the International Average Salary Income Database as a chemical engineer in the U.S., your monthly job income is of $ 6,197 for working 40 hours weekly. “You earn a lot of money but I want my family together, for me that is priceless. For what I want all the money in the world if don’t have the people I love to share with them?”
Windy came for Thanks Giving week and she has plans for 2014. “I want to come back to live in Puerto Rico. I want my little son to study here and learn where he came from!” she exclaimed with her face full of joy. It has been 7 years since her son Felix came back to live in PR. She was not in favor of that but she wanted the best for Felix. “It is time to have the family together like we were before I left.”
According to the investigation named “Brain Drain in Puerto Rico: Causes and Magnitude” the ones who leave their country, once they have enough experience or have enough money they come back to live in their own country. “I had in mind coming back since my son came to live here and with all this cold in the U.S. I have no doubt I am going back to live in P.R.” said Windy while attending to her son, in her beautiful house that is just a couple of feet from the beach.
When vacations where over for Windy on the way to the airport they don’t talk very much, words where not needed, just their sad faces. Each one was worried about the goodbye that was inevitable.
“I want to live here!” Exclaimed the little kid named Angel.
“It is just a matter of time, when you finish this school year we are coming back to live here,” Windy said smiling to both of her kids.
The faces of both of the kids changed quickly. “I have been waiting for this moment for years,” said Felix.
“As a mother is never easy to say good bye to one of your son, but he is older now and is in the university, he will need to make his own choices and I hope he make the right ones, He is studying engineering and is a profession of sacrifices, I just hope he doesn’t go through the struggles I went when I was younger.”