I grew up in the rural farm area on the northern side of Argentina. My dad left my mom, and my mom couldn’t raise me on her own, so when I was 8 years old, she left me with another family and they raised me. When I was 22, I moved to the capitol and started working in Buenos Aires. A few years later, I met Nilda.
I was born and raised in San Nicolas, Buenos Aires, Argentina. I grew up in a neighborhood where all of the houses looked exactly the same. They were kind of like condos. They were really close together in the middle of the city. All of the neighbors knew each other and we would get together and eat dinner and have parties, so I knew everyone and everyone knew me growing up. My favorite meals were meatballs, breaded chicken and stew. My father was a tailor and worked at a factory as well. My dad raised me and my siblings because my mom left us. She just walked out on us. I had five sisters and one brother. My dad passed away when I was 10 years old, so my oldest sister raised us because she was 18 at the time.
One of my greatest accomplishments is being a hard worker and raising my four daughters. When my father passed away, my sisters raised me, so I had to go out and work in the fields. We would gather fruits and vegetables and then my sisters and I would go sell them at the markets. Today, I’m a janitor at Carl’s Jr. People have told Augustus and I that it’s hard work for how old we are, but we just do it.
Some advice I would give my grandchildren would be to work hard, but more than work hard, to get an education. Make sure you’re doing what you need to do now so that you can have a better future for your family and yourself. Go to college and graduate. Major in something important. I went to school until I was 13 and then I stopped because I had to work. If I were able to go to college, I would have been a lawyer or a teacher to teach kids.