For as long as history dates back, the United States has been a place for people to come to for a better life all around. From the pilgrims coming in 1620 to the start of westward expansion in the 1800s, it all would start the vast amounts of immigrants coming from Europe to Asia and even Mexico. For people who were born and raised in the United States, we tend to take everything we have for granted.  People who immigrate from other countries come to seize the opportunities we as Americans think of as everyday aspects of life, but in reality these opportunities are hard to come by in other countries who are less fortunate.

Money was a major issue in the country of Mexico at the time. People were coming up with ways to get out of the country that had such a poor quality of life. It wasn’t safe to raise a family, drug cartels were a huge part in that.

Pedro was 18 when the thought occurred to him that heading north might just help his family financially. He was born in 1969 and grew up in the state of Durango, Mexico. He was one of 7 kids and had his whole life ahead of him. Spanish was the only language he knew and labor work was what he was best at. He never asked questions and never complained. He knew that people had it far worse than he did. He never took anything for granted either, he had strong ethics and morals and only ever wanted to succeed in life. He saw his parents start to struggle financially and wanted to help, but he was the youngest, so he carried a little burden of the families struggle on his back. You could see early on that he was going to be a successful man one day and wasn’t one to let anyone stop him from pursuing his dreams.

It was June 1987. The weather was calm and quiet; as if it were the eye of a storm. Pedro knew something big was going to happen, but he also knew he was going to have to make things happen for himself. So that’s exactly what Pedro did, he made things happen for himself. On that June day he decided he was going to change his life for the better and hopefully his family’s in the process by moving north in search of a better life.

That same June morning he and a group of buddies started walking north. The only way they were going to look back was to give back to their family once they were settled in the U.S.

Pedro’s hometown Durango is in the central part of Mexico, so the border was approximately 700 miles north of where they were, and they were going to walk until they made it. He wanted it bad enough that he was willing to do whatever it took to get there. He knew on the other side of that border were things far better than Mexico had ever seen and knew that he could make a better living working there than he ever could in Durango.

Their goal was to make it to Juarez. That was the last city they would be in before crossing into Texas. They had 575 miles until Juarez, by car that is roughly 11 hours but they didn’t have that type of transportation. They had two legs to get them to where they wanted to be. They hardly stopped, only for short rest breaks. Pedro was the leader of the group so when the others were starting to slow down he picked them back up and reminded them why they were doing what they were doing. He knew it would all be worth it as soon as they were across. 45 hours later they made it to their final city; Juarez. There they were while they waited for a truck to pick them up to take them across. It started to sink in that this was all or nothing. This was their shot to make it “big”, and by “big” I mean everything we see as normal in our lives. A nice house, a steady job, a safe place to raise a family, and a good quality of life.

The truck finally arrived. Pedro and his buddies hopped on as if it was nothing. They had one last stop and that was the other side. All of their lives were about to change for forever. Minutes seemed like they were hours and hours felt like days. They were only on the truck for  11 hours. They were stopped at border patrol but were cleared. They made it! As soon as the truck was across and out of the center of attention they had to figure out where they wanted to go. At that time a lot of immigrants headed to highly populated cities. They didn’t want to draw attention to themselves considering they knew very little about the country they were about to make their new home.

So they started to head toward New Mexico. It was only natural to head to a place that had people who were like you. Throughout it all, Pedro had had a plan for himself from the start. He wanted to get across and start working. Even though they got across the border with no problems they still had to get permission to say their permanently. Until then, they were stuck keeping a low profile for as long as possible.

Pedro took it upon himself to start a life for himself. He came to the U.S to help the rest of his family out and that is what he was going to start to do. He made his way up to Colorado where he started to work. At the time he knew no English, which would be difficult to communicate with his coworkers. But he wanted to learn, he wanted to adapt to the things that were thrown at him and so he did. He worked in Wyoming and Colorado mainly in the Walden area. When he went to work it was like he was also at school, all of the English he knows now was from the jobs he took in those areas.

31 years later he has achieved his goal. Pedro is a husband and father of 3 who resides in Laramie to this day. He has gotten permission to be here without question and has helped his family the way he wanted to all along, his passion and perseverance is what got him where he is today and without that who knows if he would have ever gotten the life he had always wanted.