Juan Gonzales

Mexico

Gardener

 

My name is Juan Gonzalez and I am from Mexico.

I do all the maintenance work at a school and also do gardening work.

My mother was 50 years old when I was born. I have four sisters and one brother in Mexico. When I was 20 I had to stop studying because my mom was 70, my dad was older and could not work and my brothers and sisters were married and had trouble supporting their own families so I decided to come to the US to work to support my parents. I am from a small villiage in Oaxaca state which is one of the poorest in the country.

I had a lot of opportunity here that I did not have in Mexico. I start to work 8:00 to 11:00 doing gardening with my clients and then I do maintenance work at the school from 12:00 to 9:15. I work seven days a week. I have residency now and will be applying for citizenship in a couple of years.

I pay my taxes and I give to charity through my church.

I support my niece and my sister. My niece is a student at a university. I pay here tuition and that’s the reason I have extra work. I told her that if she cannot get financial help from the school, I will help her. That’s the reason now I’m working seven days a week- to help her.

Everybody tells me she is  not your niece, she is like your daughter. She also feels like she is my daughter. And I’m feeling bad because sometimes she’s crying to say thank you for helping, and I say I must.

People say why do you Hispanic immigrants come to this country?

People do not understand how poor people are in Mexico and Guatemala. They also don’t understand that young girls are taken from their parents and used for sex. So if you don’t have another choice to survive you need to emigrate. They say I don’t care if I die in my country or die trying to cross the border because they don’t have anything to lose. If Trump wants to put the wall, the wall will not stop them. Because when you have the desperation to pass, you don’t care. So I hear some people say, “I don’t care if they put the walls, we go a little far and we find a way to continue.”