IMG_2422Before starting I must relay to my readers that I have experienced a very difficult time trying to convey an appropriate introduction for this oral history. The man I wish to introduce means more to me than words can describe and I really want to do his story justice. Therefore, I have placed a lot of pressure on myself to do so. Why? Well…

The man I will describe is a man of few words, who speaks through his actions. Many times my mother has said, “lo tímida lo heredaste de tu papá” (“your shyness is something you inherited from your father”). I concede that her words are true. I have seen this man working, arduously, day and night in order to ensure the well being of those around, at times sacrificing his own. From a young age, he faced harsh adult-like challenges that prevented him from having a childhood, as one would imagine. Yet above it all he has tackled adversity and never ceases to amaze me with his sense of humor, his strength, and his selflessness. I have been truly blessed to have this man as one of the main figures in my life.

This oral history is a way to showcase his story, despite his timidity. I thank him for giving me the opportunity to share with others what I have discovered. Let me now turn toward the story of José Manuel Alvarez: “my father” or mi papá.