Love From Abroad-An Immigration Story

Writing Wrongs Author Jaylen Pearson

Jaylen Pearson. Photo by Max Gondolfo.

Writing Wrongs is a community journalism project in which college students explore various social issues. Last year’s issue, “Untold, Unseen, Unheard: Perspectives on Immigration,” contains interviews with immigrants detailing their lives and goals for the future. This is a summary of a piece Jaylen Pearson of Cabrini University originally wrote for the magazine.

Early life and Matchmaking

Carolina Szarawara was born and raised in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia. She was born into a life of poverty and began working at age 18 so she could help her family ease their burden. She continued to support herself and her family through college, paying her and her siblings’ tuition.

When she wasn’t working, she was a matchmaker for her friends. Carolina set her friends up in relationships. Eventually, one of her friends advised her to pursue a partner for herself. Carolina had focused on raising her infant son, Julian, instead of her love life. She decided to find love and created an account on a dating site, Udate. She met James, a man living in Pennsylvania, and the two of them began talking to each other.

A Budding Relationship
Carolina Szarawara Tells Writing Wrongs About Her Relationship and Love for James

Carolina Szarawara. Photo by Max Gondolfo

James was a librarian at a university. Carolina told James about her life, son, location, etc. Their relationship was not based on simple attraction or desperation, but on honesty and trustworthiness. After messaging each other for a while, the two decided to meet in person, which meant that Carolina would have to leave Colombia for America.

Carolina arrived to see James, and on the third day of their visit, he proposed and she said yes. She returned to Bogotá two weeks later, and she and James began to tackle the paperwork of marriage. The two obtained Carolina’s visa from the New York City Catholic Church, and James traveled between Pennsylvania and New York for the paperwork. Especially relevant, he even had to sell his motorcycle to pay the fees.

Life after Marriage

In January 2003, James and Carolina got married in Colombia with a bilingual ceremony. In March 2003, Carolina finally moved to the United States with James. Their daughter, Jamie, was born in December that year.

Carolina used her English degree from La Salle University in Bogotá to find English and teaching jobs. She worked as a Spanish tutor, a caseworker for immigrants, and a teacher and also worked at the community library in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. While she misses her family back in Colombia, Carolina is enjoying her relationship with her husband and children.

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Applications are still open for student writers and advisors for the 2018 issue of Writing Wrongs.

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To hear more stories like Carolina’s, buy the full 2017 issue of Writing Wrongs on Barnes &

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