Nuestra Comunidad: Immigrant chronicles his struggle, helps youth

Through his skateboarding company, Francisco Dosal provides the opportunity for a new hobby to the youth community. Miguel Martínez/MundoHispanico

Through his skateboarding company, Francisco Dosal provides the opportunity for a new hobby to the youth community. Miguel Martínez/MundoHispanico

Francisco Dosal, a 24 year old man originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, arrived in Georgia when he was just five years old. “I remember crossing through Texas. I spent three days and four nights walking. I do remember that, with my mom and little brother. My father was already here,” said Dosal.

He recognizes metro Atlanta as his only home.

“I don’t know anything else. … This is where I grew up,” he said. “I always have to remind myself that I’m not from here. That’s what stops me sometimes when I have an idea and I want to do something. It’s like I have to be careful with my dreams.”

But rather than let that fear prevent him from moving forward, Dosal, a beneficiary of the Differed Action for Childhood Arrivals program, uses it to achieve his goals.

“It was a battle for me to finish high school. I dropped out two times. I said: what’s the point? But the second time I went back because I wanted to finish it, for myself. That second time, I left to help my parents pay the bills. But I went back and ended up finishing when I was 21 years old,” said Dosal, who works in construction.

Learning English was no easy task either, but he learned to embrace literature. And that is where a soul searching journey to find his roots began.

He began writing a book when he was 19.

“It all began with a school project. My teacher asked us to write a short story, in place of giving us an exam,” he said. “I started, and I never stopped. In months, weeks… in a year, I had pages and more pages.”

It is, according to Dosal, “the battle of the Hispanic who arrives here and lives two lives: the Hispanic life and the North American life. The battle of being one person, but also of being someone else at the same time. Being Hispanic but still being American.”

It was then that a good friend who worked for a publishing house offered to publish Dosal’s book.

“She asked me what I was going to do with it, and I told her: ‘nothing, I wrote it for me.’ That’s when she said, ‘you can’t do that. When you affect someone, that’s what’s important,’” he added.

The novel, titled ‘Beyond the Good and Evil’ was published by Urban Book Publisher.

The book is not his only project. He also enjoys oil painting and has created an independent skateboarding company with a group of friends, known as the Lowkii Board Co.

“We make t-shirts, hoodies, skateboards. We do a lot of events with children in the skateboard park. We bring them pizza, and we give away skateboards, among other things, said Dosal. “We don’t want them to get lost or involved with the wrong crowd. … A lot of them can’t pick up a hobby at school, because maybe they don’t have the money. Here, they can spend time with us, and we even teach them how to skateboard.”

Dosal’s business partner, Nehemyah Price, also finds satisfaction in serving the youth community. At the same time, however, he is concerned about his friend’s legal status.

“We’ve been friends for five years, and we always come to the park. He’s always there for me. His support system is incredible. I didn’t grow up with him, but he gives me a lot of emotional support. He’s someone I can always talk to,” said Price. “I’m worried about what could happen to him because of the current political climate. It’s frustrating. One day he could send me a text and say: ‘hey, I’ve got to go.’”

Dosal is one of 1.3 million undocumented youth who receive DACA in the United States, according to statistics from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The program provides both protection from deportation and a work permit, which expires after two years and is subject to renewal.

For more information about Francisco Dosal’s novel, “Beyond the Good and Evil:”