I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, that this happened to one of the most important people in my life. I felt like this was a never-ending dream. My heart racing to know how this all happened and I not know about it. I had to keep listening.
Julio was born and raised in Mexico City. He was an amazing kid who loved to play video games and had a passion for basketball. One day he got the opportunity to travel to the United States with his aunt and cousin. They stayed there for several years, while living there Julio had started school, he was starting to enjoy this way of life but shortly that came to an end since he had to go back to Mexico for his family. When he returned from his journey, everything went downhill.
He started getting distracted with basketball and soon money problems began. At the age of 14, my father began to work. The Federal Labor Law employment law code states that you can legally work at 14+. Imagine that, only in middle school supposed to focus on school and extracurricular activities but unfortunately that's not the case for kids in Mexico. When money starts to be a problem kids work and sacrifice their childhood for family.
In Mexico, the moment you start high school is the year you graduate and go off to college. When my father began his first year in high school he was failing classes on top of that work was getting in the way. He felt like there wasn’t another way to get out of it but to drop out. 300,000 Mexican children each year drop out of school after the sixth grade, on average Mexicans leave school by age 14. The most difficult part about dropping out is telling the parents. My grandparents were furious that you could see steam come out of their ears. "You won't be anything in life but a failure! You'll be homeless and only come to us when you need money!" Said my grandparents. Those words stuck like a magnet to my father, couldn't get them out of his head.
Julio knew best that going back to the US will help him seek better opportunities. He worked 100x harder for everything he has. At the age of 21, he found a job with excellent pay, owned 2 cars, was expecting a baby with his wife, and was a landlord to other houses. He showed his parents that he was going to be a somebody, that he wouldn’t ask them for money at all.
My father is everything I want to be in life but of course better than him. You can still be successful even without a high school diploma or a college degree but you will have to work extra hard. My parents have sacrificed so much and all I want is to pay them back yet not let them down because in the there's no one that’s going to sacrifice and support you until the very end but your parents.