Faces of Immigration

Happy in America

Manuel Marquez first came to the United States in 1974 alongside his cousin and his friend. The three walked for several days before meeting some people who took them into their home, fed them, and let them spend the night.

The following day the trio arrived in Sahuarita, Arizona. Marquez found work on a ranch very quickly. He was given the task of tending to cows and helping with the dairy portion of the ranch. Marquez was paid $3 per day. After three months, his manager liked his work enough to pay him $4 per day.

However, Marquez was not happy and went back to Mexico, but he didn’t stay long. He walked back to the U.S. where he found a job first in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and later in Colorado where he worked in the mines.

After several years, Marquez relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he met Patricia Zubia and bought a house with some land on the south side of the city.

In 1984, he and Patricia married and soon after had a son, Manuel, also called “Chalito.” Over the next 15 years they had three more children, Guadalupe, Yvonne, and Eva Fabiola. Marquez built a second home on the land he bought, where he now lives with Patricia. Guadalupe lives in the original house with her son, Michael, who was born in 2004.

Marquez’s son, Chalito, had two children. Emma was born in 2007, and Esme in 2010. The same year Esme was born, Yvonne also had a child, Priscilla.

Manuel and Patricia currently live in the house they built in New Mexico, and their three oldest children live close by in Albuquerque, while Eva Fabiola lives in Las Cruces where she is completing a triple degree in Spanish, International Business, and Hotel Restaurant and Tourism Management. Manuel works doing renovations around Albuquerque, and Patricia cleans houses.

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