Presented by Museum of the Peace Corps Experience and American University Museum

American Immigrant

by Craig M. Chavis Jr., Peru, Tambogrande 2014–16

Land of the free and home of the brave,
Built on the backs of others—the poor and the enslaved.
Supposedly, meritocracy reigns free, with the cream rising to the top;
But fallacies like trickle-down economics have been exposed; drop
by drop.
I was told to stop questioning, turn a blind eye, and always obey;
Sadly, I never knew what my country was, until I decided to move away.
Red, white, and blue; it all seemed so perfect.
But for months I doubted my decision to leave; was it all worth it?
See, I was programmed to believe that I knew it all.
Thankfully I was incorrect, and my ego disintegrated like leaves in the fall.
Not looking back, I naively moved forward and boarded that plane;
Unprepared for the unknown, unprepared for change.
Goodbye America, my once forever home;
I was born a nomad, why should I resist my calling to roam?
Never in my wildest dreams could this have been true.
That I would discover my life’s calling after serving in the Peace Corps in Peru.
I was now an American Immigrant, isn’t that quite odd?
Not for me, I answered my calling, which came directly from God.
Now paying it forward to help those in need,
My mission is simple; live life on your terms and escape from a system that’s built on greed.
Looking back, this all seems so farfetched—a fantasy, a dream
But I was rewarded for staying the course and embracing the unseen.
So, when you arrive at the next crossroads in your life, respond and don’t react;
Take the road less traveled, you won’t regret it—trust me that’s a fact.