intro_saluda_photo_04By Ignacio Morales, Andres Ramos, and D.L. Anderson

Escuche la historia de Alberto / Listen To Alberto’s Story

English Translation of Alberto’s Story

From his alligator boots, belt buckle and Tejana hat, it’s clear that  Alberto loves the countryside and livestock. He identifies with the land and life as a cowboy. As a child in Veracruz, Mexico, Alberto was happiest while caring for the animals.

Well, since I was 8 years old, I started working in the fields. Yeah, I remember that I would go after some of the cows to take them to the field and that I would let them roam around and that I would look for them in the bushes that they would hide in. And I would look for them and by the time I went back to my house, they were already there and that’s the memory I have of the cows, very pretty.

One day, Alberto traveled to Tijuana in search of work so that he could bring greater stability to his family. While at work he met a very beautiful woman there. She became the mother of his two children. In little time, Alberto lost his job and went to the United States to try out his luck. He walked 18 hours to cross the desert to the other side of the border.

Well my mind that stayed there in the truck, it was like 10 people in the back of the truck that was taking us, laying down and in those curves, hearing how the tire was squeaking that wouldn’t turn and never to see my family again. And it’s very good luck, if you’re able to cross and for a lot of people, bad luck for each one of them on their way, never to see their family again. That’s what’s most sad about it that you see, that you see and that you take in personally in life.

Once in the United States Alberto settled in South Carolina, living in a farmworker camp and toiling in the fields; picking cucumbers, peaches, pumpkin and watermelon. Today Alberto is unemployed due to serious injuries he incurred in the fields. A long legal battle for reparations from damages caused has made his old home in Mexico seem all the more distant.

Well, it’s very sad how one feels here, being alone, without any family. When you’re eating and you’re eating at the dinner table without any of your family, you always think about your family and miss them. Because here we’re put to a corner, we’re like intruding, places here… that’s how we see ourselves, with the other farmworker’s moms. And well it’s never the same as it is in Mexico. I’m very alone right now without any family. It’s not the same being here without them. We’re here to have a better life than in Mexico. And you risk a lot crossing the border. Everything that you suffer just to have a better life, to suffer, here for some time and then well, in the future go back, with God’s will. And I plan on starting a business, a taco stand to survive there because well, the money we make here, you go some place and it’s just spend, spend, spend. And in the end you’re in the same situation without money that you were in before and it’s not the same now going back and not have any money, that’s what they call me for.

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