My name is Quinlan. I was born in the United States. When I was 6 months old, I was transferred to Cali, Colombia. My dad went to prison. I started living with my aunt who was very strict. She had me as a prisoner who could not do anything, I was bored. After so much abuse towards me, I got tired of living with her. I escaped from home and went to live with my grandfather.
When I was with my grandfather I could not study, because I did not have nationality papers.
One day I was with my friends. It was very late when the police came and took me to an orphanage while they looked for information about my parents. In the end, I stayed at there for more than a year. When I was there I lived hell itself. I was very scared, and there were too many bad children. When I was there they started to beat me and steal what little I had. I decided to escape from there. It was more than an hour walking to my grandfather's house. And I started my normal life.
Everything was very good when on October 29, 2017 they came again. They said, “I told you your case is finished and you have to go to the United States." At first I did not want to, but my grandfather convinced me to go. My grandfather was sad.
I was not sure if I was going to see my mom. I was with a worker who encouraged me on the way to the United States. We went two days by plane until we arrived, and the first thing I saw was my mom. I went and I saw her crying because I came out of my sad past.
Making Buffalo Home is a two-year, in-depth Buffalo Toronto Public Media engagement initiative to inform and raise awareness of immigration for our entire community. The project aims to help the region develop a better understanding of the shared opportunities and challenges we face together as long-time residents and new immigrants and refugees.
Making Buffalo Home is funded by Rich Products Corporation and Rich Family Foundation.