El Salvador, meaning, “The Savior,” is the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America—about the size of New Jersey. It borders Guatemala, Honduras, and the Pacific Ocean. It has a population of about 6 million people.
As other Salvadorans, I am grateful God gave me the honor and privilege of being a “Guanaca,” our nickname for the people of El Salvador. Like in every country, we have good things and bad things in our culture. But some of our good traditions are hard work, perseverance, humility, generosity, and a passion to own our own house, to have our own business, and for our soccer team. There are many reasons for Salvadorans to come to the United States. The greatest reason is our economic problems and desire to pursue the famous “American Dream.” I came from real hard times and bad living conditions. This is why we leave family, friends, and the people we love the most. Utica is a perfect place for us—it is a good and peaceful city with an affordable cost of living. It is a risk to come here, because we might never be able to go back to visit our families. But we want to do everything we can to give a better life to our kids and families and to have a good future.