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Jose Gonzalez

Jose Gonzalez

Mexico Native and Jack-of-All-Trades

Born: Yautepec, MOR, Mexico
Heritage: Mexican

Be careful. Think wise. It is important to help each other and support those who are weak. It is most important to help each other and not to be afraid. God First, Family Second, Work Third.

Jose Gonzalez

Mexico Native and Jack-of-All-Trades

My name is Jose Gonzalez. I am from Yautepec, Morelos, Mexico. I was raised by both of my parents until the age of 7seven. My parents separated at that time. My father was a factory worker and police chief of the town. My mother was a housewife. I have 4 brothers. After my mom remarried, she had 3 more children. So I have seven brothers.

My childhood was normal though different than today. I grew up in a family with beliefs. These beliefs were passed down from my grandparents to my parents to me. I grew up with Christian teachings. Because my parents were apart, I was home alone. I had to find my own food. I went hungry. It was difficult to see students have lunches from home and dinner on the table, when I didn’t have any. I learned to cook when I was seven.

At the age of 16 I left my family home and moved to Mexico City. My hometown was two hours away. I finished my school there. I lived with my aunt. I had to work and go to school at the same time. For work, my brother taught me sales. I worked as a salesperson to make money. I learned that if you work hard, you will be rewarded and achieve.

It doesn’t matter the size, color, or appearance of the person. You need to be motivated and motivate other people. I also learned about opportunity. When I see an opportunity that is good for my family, I say yes. There were hard times and I had to eat so I worked very hard.

I came to the United States in 1985. I had to cross the border by hiring someone to take me across. I had to pay about $900 to be taken across the border. My uncles paid for my way but I had to pay them back. I had to cross in a truck. It was very difficult. We had to hide. We had to make sure the border patrol wouldn’t see us. We were risking our life. Compared to what other people have suffered during their escape, I was lucky.

I crossed the border in the night through Tijuana to San Diego. From San Diego I went to Los Angeles where I flew to New York. I lived in New Jersey, which is where I met my wife. We married and had 3 children, Stephanie, Yadira and Giovanni. I have one grandson, Jael.

I became a United States citizen about twelve years ago. It was a dream I wanted. I wanted to be a United States citizen because I have a family here. I wasn’t planning to go back to Mexico to live.

After living in New Jersey, my family moved to Minnesota to find work. I also have other family here in Minnesota. I have had many jobs. I consider myself a Jack-of-all-Trades.


The Ballad of Jose Gonzalez

Honoring Jose Gonzalez

Ballad of Jose Gonzales

I was born in Moralos.
Brought up by my mother and father
With 4 other brothers
Until my father did leave
When he did my mother remarried
To a man I didn't care for
They had 3 other children
Left home when I was 16
To Mexico City I traveled
Where I learned from my older brother
It doesn't matter the size or color
or how someone might look.
As long as you're motivated
You can make some money
Like I did when I was younger
Working for Frito- O- Lay

Wasn't long until I crossed over
In a truck from Tijuana
Risking life crossing the border
All the way to Los Angeles
On a plane to New York City
Finding work in New Jersey
Where I met my wife from Texas
Now raising a family
In the state of Minnesota
With the help of God's love
Stephanie and Yadira
Giovanni, my only son
As long as you're motivated
You can make some money
Like I did when I was younger
Working for Frito- O- Lay

From a mechanic to a welder
Landscaping to refrigeration
From a painter to a plumber
To a Jack of All Trades
Most of all, my passion is reading
Books about self motivation
Though my favorite book is the Bible
This one thing I believe
Put God first. Second comes family.
Third comes my career.
Put them all together
a good life year after year
As long as you're motivated
You can make some money
Like I did when I was younger
Working for Frito- O- Lay

Words & music by Larry Long with Lisa Carlson’s 4th Grade Class of Birchview Elementary School in Wayzata, Minnesota.

© Larry Long 2009 / BMI