El Salvador Exodus


Juan (name changed) was born in Lourdes Colon, El Salvador in 1980. He didn’t finish school because he had a child and had to work. He delivered Coca Cola, but he didn’t get paid much. He left El Salvador with a coyote in 2004. Juan’s journey took twenty eight days walking and driving. He came to United States to work and to help his wife and children by sending money to them. He also hoped to bring them to United States for a better life.

Juan thought the United States would have more opportunities for work and it would be safer. In El Salvador there were gangs and his friends had problems with them. If you don’t pay them, they can kill, or kidnap you or someone in your family. He said there were a lot of other problems in his country too. There is shortage of work, and the salaries are very low. Also the environmental pollution is a problem. The quality of the air is bad.

Juan knew one person who lived in United States, his father Rafael who came to the U.S. in 1984. At first Juan lived with him in Los Angeles. His first job was as a construction worker . Then he moved to Oregon and did the same work. He felt so sad because he missed his family and he felt very uncomfortable because he didn’t understand English, The other workers talked to him in English. His wife joined him in Oregon and then they moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to look for work. He works in construction here now. It was hard in the beginning but now he understands some English and he lives a good life because he has his all family here in this country.

This story was written by Juan’s son.

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