An Ode to Sus Raíces

A family barely making ends-meet in the country of Guatemala. In hopes and search of a better life, Luis Miguel Grijalva Morales’ parents moved to New York when he was 1. Two years later, when Grijalva was 3 years old, his family relocated to Fairfield, California where his father worked washing cars and making cabinets at a factory. Once Grijalva reached high school, he discovered his love and immense talent for running. Post graduation, Grijalva committed to Northern Arizona University with a full-ride scholarship and let his talent take flight as he competed in the NCAA championships alongside his team for several years.

Making it to the Big Leagues

            Luis Miguel Grijalva’s career as a professional runner gained traction soon after graduating and leaving the NCAA to sign a contract with the shoe company Hoka One One. His speed and work ethic reaped major benefits after competing earlier this summer in the NCAA track and field championships. He earned the personal record of 13 minutes and 13.14 seconds in the 5000-meter race only to realize soon after that his DACA realize that he would be unable to leave for Tokyo and return home. DACA recipients have certain leeway within the United States, however without authorization to leave the country, immigrants are formally barred from reentry for a decade.

Con Ganas, Grijalva Takes to Tokyo

            Luis Miguel Grijalva made it clear that “It would be a honor and a privilege to represent [his] home country but also be able to be a voice and represent over 600,000 Dreamers like [himself.]” It can take months for DACA recipients within the United States to formally complete a request for travel, but Grijalva and his lawyer Jessica Smith Bobadilla fought until he was finally approved to go to Tokyo under the argument that the Olympics is both an employment-related and humanitarian event. Grijalva arrived at Tokyo fashionably and was able to compete in the 5000-meter preliminary heat, where he qualified for the finals with a time of 13 minutes 34.11 seconds. He will be competing in the 5000-meter finals race on August 6.

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Nicole-Antoinette Urbina-Ruiz
Nicole-Antoinette is Wafi Media's Editor in Chief and a senior at McDaniel College. She will be graduating this Spring with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science specializing in International Studies. She also works at the McDaniel College Writing Center as an Associate Peer Tutor. Outside of her work with Wafi and college life, Nicole-Antoinette is an avid singer, runner and outspoken advocate for the Latine and immigrant community. Nicole-Antoinette is passionate about issues relating to immigration, human rights, social justice, and latino culture. She hopes to attend and earn a JD at law school in order to serve the immigrant community through her practice of law.