Hivo Marquez is the manager of Pablano's Mexican Bar and Grill in Evans, Georgia, a suburb of Augusta. He and I are good friends, and my wife and I enjoy eathing at his restaurant. Excellent food and friendly and efficient service.
He came to America at age 15 as an illegal immigrant and didn’t know the English language. A “coyote” or migrant smuggler got him across the Texas border. Hivo saved enough money to hire a “coyote” and made it to Texas. He was only 15 years old and left his family behind in Mexico.
Hivo came to the USA with only the shirt on his back with a hope and a prayer of making it in the land of opportunity. He got work immediately at a large Texas diary operation which by the way, Texas provides most of the milk we get here in my area of Georgia.
After Texas, he migrated to North Carolina through the “migrant network” in hopes of finding a construction job. But, he was too young to be hired.
Next, he migrated to the Augusta, Georgia, area where he found work as a “chips boy,” the employee who brings in the chips and salsa for Mexican restaurant patrons. A cousin brought him to Augusta to the Monterrey's restaurant. He moved up to waiter and now is the manager of Pablano’s Mexican Grill, Evans.
Today at age 34, he is an American citizen with full citizenship rights. He owns a home in Grovetown and lives with his wife, Maria, and four beautiful daughters, Diana, Daniela, Gabriela, and Nelida - all born in America and American citizens. He and his family are members of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Augusta. The church has a vibrant Hispanic ministry.
Hivo’s story shows that indeed, America is still the land of opportunity for those who have nothing but do have desire and persistence and work hard. His story proves that anyone can achieve the American dream.
Rev. Dan White is a freelance writer and founder/pastor of North Columbia Church, Appling, GA. Reach him at email@example.com
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