Book Sparks Open Discussion
Another participant said that education was part of the American dream.
"The best opportunity is from education. Once you have it its like a virus, nobody will take it away from you," said Luis Huaman, who also immigrated from Peru.
Every month, the Columbia Human Rights Commission sponsors discussions like this one to help promote diversity.
"For the last several months, we've been bringing people together from across the community in small safe settings for intimate dialogue to understand one another better," Nanette Chun-Ming Ward of the Human Rights Commission said.
Organizers encouraged everyone to participate and share their personal experiences, both positive and negative. Roxana said America has offered her family opportunities they wouldn't have had in Peru like a good education, a career and a safe community.
Although not everyone could agree what the American dream is, most of the immigrants at the meeting said they believe they and their families are better off for following their own version of that dream. Tonight's event wasn't a debate or argument, but rather an open discussion. Organizers hope personal interaction and understanding will follow.