From a Lempira to a Dollar

The Texas Story Project.

Throughout their childhoods, numerous kids from Honduras pray for an opportunity to come to the U.S. With the high poverty and violence rates, children are horrified of having to meet either of those faiths. Honduras is known for its gangs, and the only way of success that the majority of these children see is joining them to be able to escape death. For a certain child, music and leaving his country to Texas allowed him to achieve a distinct path of success.

Jesus Ramon Galindo was born in Trujillo, Colon, Honduras to Alicia Galindo Calderon and Jose Ramon Barahona Flores on December 2nd, 1969. His name came from an experience his mother had, where she was beaten by the corrupt police in Honduras at the time while pregnant and chose to name him Jesus at that moment if he was born healthy. Jesus proved to be healthy at his birth, yet the rest of his life consisted of suffering. Without a father figure at his side, Jesus looked up to his oldest brothers, Jose and Mauricio Galindo, both of whom always dreamed of leaving Honduras and moving to the United States permanently. Jesus experienced numerous holidays without presents nor food but always motivated himself by imagining a life in the United States. After losing both brothers in his early adulthood, it was the last straw for Jesus. He wanted to provide his mother and sisters with a better life and have an opportunity to escape poverty.

Once arriving in Houston, Texas in 1992 at the age of 27, he was amazed at the infrastructure of the city. Seeing the skylines, the paved roads, the number of people walking without the worry of getting mugged, helped him realize that this was the city that was meant to be the final stage of his life. From picking up trash and singing at night clubs with utilizing the bus every day to go everywhere, to owning a house with 3 cars and a family of 5 while working as Safety Compliance Manager at Amazon, Jesus has had a life full of accomplishments.

“Raising my family in Texas has been my proudest accomplishment. Families are much more united here, there are numerous opportunities to grow. I want to be able to give my family that opportunity. Texas has developed its economy in ways no other countries have. It truly illustrates the idea that this is the land of opportunities. It has helped my kids continue to have that connection to their Honduran roots while assimilating the Texas culture,” were the words that emphasized the happiness that Jesus cherishes when he hears the word, “Texas.”

Texas has been a state that has allowed growth for everyone. The majority of immigrants, such as Jesus, can grow in this community. Texas is the land of opportunity. History has been made here. Cultures have flourished here. The economy has risen more than ever.

To Jesus, Texas means hope and opportunities. To his children, it means hard work and sacrifices. As his oldest child, I am glad that I have had the blessed opportunity to watch Houston grow in ways no other city ever could.

My father’s story concerning his life in Texas may appear to just be a simple story from a Houstonian. Yet, it is much more than that. My father’s story allows others to comprehend the positive effect Texas has had in their history. Texas is full of history, timelines, and important events. Yet, Texas always starts with the people who live in it. My father lives in Texas. His history is Texas’s history.

Vilma Sofia Caballero is a first-year Biology major with a Chemistry and English minor at St. Mary’s University. She is the first in her family to attend college and her academic interests include women’s rights and healthcare for minority groups. She thanks her family as well as every teacher/counselor she has had for their help in her path to success. Vilma hopes to attend Baylor College of Medicine to become a neonatologist to be able to give back to the community that has allowed her to flourish. Besides knowing English and Spanish, Vilma wishes to continue learning French and Turkish. When she is not at lab, work, or the library, you can see her spending time with her friends, watching Netflix, singing, or dancing.

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