The path to becoming a U.S. citizen can oftentimes be a long journey but that long-awaited step for about two dozen immigrants finally arrived on Tuesday.
25 people from 20 different countries around the globe took a trip to Joshua Tree National Park for a special citizenship ceremony.
The ceremony kicked off with the pledge of allegiance with the National Anthem soon following. Before receiving their naturalization certificate, immigration officials and park representatives gave a few remarks.
Abel has been waiting for this moment since he arrived from Mexico 20 years ago.
"I'm really excited to be here and finally get my citizenship," Abel said.
The ceremony is the first of its kind to be held at Joshua National Tree Park.
"It's an emotional day for me to see these people welcome to look at their families to look at their families, to look at their siblings with them, celebrating this special day warms my heart," said David Smith, Joshua Tree National Park superintendent.
Smith said national parks are a symbol of pride and a reflection of the dedication many endure to receive their citizenship.
"People work so hard to become an American citizen and to see that their dreams are fulfilled today is really, its hard to explain how important it is," Smith said.
Dayana Cialo Vargas says it's the end of a long journey.
"Just overwhelmingly happy, just because we get to celebrate all the hard work and efforts that's instilled in us," Cialo Vargas said.
Vargas' family immigrated from Uruguay. She and her sister, Yesica, both recited the oath of allegiance during the ceremony together.
"Just overwhelmed with happiness and we did it together and i think that was the best part," Cialo said.
For these 25 new citizens, a new chapter in their lives has just begun.
If you would like to learn more about this special ceremony, check out Marco's spanish story for Telemundo 15.