Hispanic Heritage Month: Journey across the Border


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) From poverty in Mexico to life as a teacher in North Carolina.

Alexandra Delgadillo is sharing her story of survival and achievement as she also inspires students in Pitt County.

“The ranch was really, really poor. It’s really small. We basically they still do have the bathrooms outside and they don’t have any water,” said Delgadillo.

Those humble beginnings in Coahuila, Mexico would be the motivation for her to push through her fear of a new country and into her career as a teacher.

“I’m originally from Mexico and I came to the United States when I 10 years old,” she said.

With her parents and four siblings living in a small home with no water in the 1990s.

“In Mexico, we lived in a ranch called Taco Via,” Delgadillo said.

“What will happen is there comes a truck at the beginning of the month and they will fill them up. So that’s the amount of water you have for the whole month and they won’t come back until next month and it’s still like that,” she said.

Then one day Delgadillo’s mother told her the family was moving to the United States.

“To give us a better education opportunity and because we were very poor so she decided she wanted a better life for us,” said Delgadillo.

The family moving to Stokes, North Carolina where her dad found a job opportunity.

“It was very scary because you come to a country and you don’t know the language so you don’t know what people are speaking. You don’t know what they’re saying and it was very scary and terrifying as a kid,” she said.

Delgadillo credits her teachers for helping her overcome her fears.

“She was there for me she would translate my worksheets into Spanish so she helped me as much as she could. She was one of the teachers who impacted me,” she recalls.

As Delgadillo grew up, she stayed dedicated to her education.

“Academically I can say I was gifted. Actually I try a lot. I try and set myself to a goal and I accomplish the goal.”

After graduating high school, Delgadillo earned her associates at Martin Community College and her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Elizabeth City University.

With the impact of her teachers, motivating her to become a teacher as well.

Delgadillo has taught kindergarten at South Greenville Elementary School for the past year.

She said it has been challenging but rewarding.

“I want to make sure I help my students be successful. I want them to love school so they can succeed in life so I want to be apart of building our future,” Delgadillo said.

Through her life and experiences, she relates to her students.

“A lot of our students are economically disadvantaged so I feel like I can relate with them because I came from that. I have that background when I was in Mexico so I feel I know what they’re going through and I’m able to help them better,” she said.

As Delgadillo builds her career in North Carolina, she never forgets where she came from.

“It helps you know to value what you have over here in the United States to go back and see how poor people are in Mexico and what they go through,” she said.

Now Delgadillo hopes her experiences will inspire her students and her perseverance will make her parents proud.

“I’m very grateful that my mom and my dad decided to bring me to the United States to give me a better education,” she said. “I want them to feel proud and that their struggle was for a reason because now I’m a teacher.”

Delgadillo plans to go back to school to get her masters and doctorate then become a university professor.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending stories