Ithacan Immigrant: Paula
This week’s Ithacan Immigrant features Paula, a Costa Rican national who is taking the steps to become a US citizen. We first met Paula when she accessed our legal immigration services in 2013 in order to file an application to become a legal permanent resident. She then returned this fall to access our citizenship services. Paula also interned with ISP and is interested in pursuing practicing immigration law as a career.
ISP: Why did you come to the US?
I came here to visit my aunt and uncle and then eventually began to attend school.
ISP: Why did you decide to live in Ithaca?
Because this is where my relatives lived.
ISP: What was your first impression of Ithaca?
It reminded me a lot like my hometown, San Carlos. I thought is was very green and everyone was friendly.
ISP: What is your favorite American food?
My husband’s grandma’s foods – collard greens, fried chicken, mac and cheese, and banana pudding.
ISP: Where is your favorite place to shop in Ithaca?
Wegman’s – it’s the only place you can find the closest food to Costa Rican foods. I buy yucca, plantains, Maggie, and good Costa Rican coffee.
ISP: What is the biggest difference between Ithaca and your home town?
The weather and the food. The weather here is a lot more extreme. It’s extremely hot in the winter and extremely cold in the summer. In San Carlos, it’s hot but we always have a breeze. As far as the food, I grew up waking up at 5:00 am every day and my Mom always had breakfast ready. She had rice and beans and platanos and a slice of cheese. Over there we always had a big breakfast, a big lunch and then coffee in the afternoon with bread or tortillas. Here, we are busier and have less time to prepare meals like my mom does in Costa Rica.