My Grandfather the Immigrant

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Oral History – Immigrant My grandfather, Francisco Avalos, was born on February 15th, 1943 in Ixtlán de los Hervores, in the Mexican state of Michoacán. He was the youngest of four siblings, all of whom who died when they were children. His father had a job that paid well, so his family wanted for nothing and he received a high school education. He was raised Catholic in a Catholic home and with this came an organized and strict upbringing. He attended weekly Sunday masses and received the appropriate Sacraments: Baptism, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Confirmation, and much later, Marriage. Through childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood he and many of his peers never fathomed immigrating to America. It was something they would make fun of other people about because of how silly the idea seemed. He recounted a story in which a friend of his, Pedro, had immigrated to America and when he came back to visit my grandfather and his friends, Pedro had told them, “My name is Peter is now.” My grandfather and company believed that immigrating changed people, their values, and what they believed in. These beliefs however, would not last long as he was about meet someone who would change his entire outlook on life. In 1959, he met his future wife, my grandmother, Marina Torres during Las Posadas, a nine day celebration that commemorates the nine months that Mary carried Jesus. They dated for four years, going to the their city plaza and picking flowers together, and finally got married in 1963. Their first child Alex Avalos, was born on July 4th, 1963 (a foreshadowing he said of their imminent steps to America) and their second, my mother, Olga Patricia Campos was born on February 16th, 1967. He always told his kids that “education is the key to success,” and while his stopped at high school he was going to make sure they would be able to do what he did not. It was

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