Stories From Appalachia: ‘I Was Born in Mexico, but I’m From McDowell. We Grew Up Here, and We’ll Stay Here.’

An oral history project five years in the making, Beginning Again: Stories of Movement and Migration in Appalachia brings together narratives of refugees, migrants and generations-long residents that explore complex journeys of resettlement.

Meet Cindy Sierra Morales: When she was 6 years old, Sierra Morales’ family migrated from Durango, Mexico, to Los Angeles, fleeing gang violence. After a short stay with family friends, Cindy’s family drove to Marion, N.C., where her aunt, uncle, cousins and older siblings already lived. Her parents held a variety of factory jobs, and Cindy started second grade just a few weeks after arriving. After living in the United States for 15 years, Cindy and her siblings were able to secure legal documentation through DACA.