Vaya Con Mom

After their mother was deported to Mexico, the Brito children embarked on a two-year journey trying to navigate life in the United States on their own

While Araceli and Diana intend to start at Fullerton College next semester, Isela and Eduardo are working on finishing high school at Anaheim High. Isela was asked to apply for the QuestBridge program, which would have offered her a full ride to several Ivy League schools, but she opted against it to stay closer to her siblings; she's applying to several UC schools, instead. Eduardo was accepted to the Simon Scholars Program for disadvantaged but successful students last year. He gets $60,000 to spend at any four-year college once he's done at Anaheim.

In a weird way, Araceli, Diana, Eduardo and Isela are grateful for the way things turned out. "Before all of this, we were spoiled 'cause we had everything," Isela says. "We took for granted the Internet, having a car—all of that. We thought, 'Oh, we have this. We need more.' Now it's like, no, you work for it and you don't always have what you want."

More than anything, it has helped them value their relationships with one another and with their mother.

Eduardo Brito meets up in Rosarito with his mom, Ana Maria Sanchez Mateo
Marisa Gerber
Eduardo Brito meets up in Rosarito with his mom, Ana Maria Sanchez Mateo
Isela Brito and her mom, Ana Maria Sanchez Mateo
Marisa Gerber
Isela Brito and her mom, Ana Maria Sanchez Mateo

"There was this girl I remember . . . She was really mad at her mom," Eduardo says. "She was like, 'Oh, I wanna punch her.' And I'm thinking, 'If I only had my mom here, and she wants to punch hers.'"

CORRECTION, Oct. 20, 2011: In the original version of this story, the name of the Mexican state of Querétaro was misspelled twice. The Weekly regrets the error.

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