Saturday, January 30, 2010

Jose on Being a Part of It

This interview was translated from Spanish.

"I came to this country in October 1988 from El Salvador. Over time, my whole family came over to America, except for one or two people. This country has been good to me, and I thank D.C. for all of the opportunities to work and raise my family here. It is difficult to be so far away from my home and culture, especially as I don't speak much English - just a few words. I still go back to El Salvador every year to see my friends and family and keep a connection to the place. But my life is here now.

"I came here in my late 30's and went straight to work. It is hard to learn a new language when you are older and don't have the time to do much other than work. I originally came here to make money for my family and go back to El Salvador so I didn't really worry about the language. But I ended up staying and got my citizenship. I am still trying to learn English, but I am 57 and it is even more difficult now than when I was a younger man. But I make do.

"In 1995, I took a job at the National Building Museum. I work as a janitor and keep the building clean and look after the outside. Because of my English, I don't know as much about the museum as I wish I did. Still, I find the museum beautiful and like to see all of the people, including the school children, come and enjoy themselves in the space. It is nice to be a part of that."

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