Language lost: Immigrants face steeper summer slide
Drugs, violence, stealing, and prostitution were the everyday realities of Cristian Cruz’s upbringing in Acapulco, Mexico.
“The neighborhood where I grew up, there was a lot of violence, a lot of stealing, a lot of killing each other for territory, prostitution,” said Cruz, wearing a Chicago Bulls cap and striped Polo T-shirt.
He’s been living in America for nearly 13 years now, but it wasn’t always stars and stripes for Cruz.
He arrived on Sept. 11, 2001. Besides a brief period in Los Angeles, Philadelphia has been his home since. Cruz spoke no English then and struggled to adapt to the United States, parachuting in and out of Philadelphia’s public school system.
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