My immigration story


Because Everyone is always very curious of how I ended up here...


I was 18 years old and my roommate's mom was an English/Spanish tutor. She would often ask us to bring flyer's to local hotels and to leave them at the reception. I was living with that friend, so that day, I was helping her do this.
We were on our way back from church and we decided to walk home and stop in all the hotels there were on the way.

The reception desk of this one particular hotel had a lounge area where I decided to have a sit while I waited for her while she asked the receptionist if it was ok to leave a pile of flyers at the desk.
Suddenly a group of "gringos" walked into the hotel.
I noticed that one in particular guy was VERY drunk, and I suggested him to go in the bedroom rather than staying there.
This hotel was not in the best area of the city, and I knew if he stayed there he was going to get mugged.

That drunk gringo was Nick, part of a platoon who's ship had sunk by the shore the day before.

The next day, Nick and his Marine friends grabbed one of the flyers we had left, and called my friend and I to go on a date. That is when everything started.

For the next 2 months, we party like only Chileans know, probably too much for the shy, quiet kid from Hooversville PA, (a little tiny coal mining town that had a pizza shop as it's only attraction).

We had the most fun time ever.
When he left he promised to go back to see me, and then we lost contact.
Two years went by before we talked again. By then, the internet had developed a lot more and we would email each other back and forth.
When he came to visit me,  we immediately fell in love again, and 4 years later after, as soon as I finished college I jumped on an airplane with destination to Western PA.
I arrived on July 10th 2006 and we got married in a justice of the peace ceremony October, 14th 2006.

The plan was never to stay here, but we didn't know that my immigration process would take 8 years, by then we had a life, I had a business here and Chile had become more dangerous to live in, so we stayed.

I am not planning to stay here forever, but in the meantime, Pittsburgh is my home.

A few pictures from
Way back when...

My name is Sandra and I am a Wedding Photographer in Pittsburgh, who travels all over documenting couples and their love stories :)