Oscar’s from Nicaragua. When he was fourteen there was a big civil war going on in Nicaragua. He and his four older brothers were probably going to get drafted into the army or the guerilla group that would come and steal young boys and force them to join their group. His mother was very worried about all of them, so she sent them all to Honduras. He worked there for a couple of years but he couldn’t go to school in Honduras because he was an undocumented immigrant. He worked in a factory, saved up a lot of money, and kept wanting to go home. His mother kept telling him not to come home. At sixteen he took all his savings and he headed up north to come to the United States.
He was the first one to make it here. When he crossed the border, by then he was 18 because it took a long time to get through Mexico, he was actually caught on the border and was detained for about 11 months in a detention center for immigrants in El Paso. At that time, back in the 80s, a lot of churches were taking a lot of interest in the problems that were going on in Central America and with Central American immigrants and refugees. A church had come up with the money to pay the bond for somebody, a Central American refugee and they bonded somebody out, not Oscar but that guy didn’t work out. This guy he came and he lived at Annunciation House for a while. I don’t know what happened but Annunciation House basically said we’re taking you back to jail. I don’t exactly know how that worked out, this is how Oscar tells me about it. So they had this bond money and the head of Annunciation House at the time was just like okay give me that one, and it was Oscar. So this church bonded Oscar out. He stayed at Annunciation House for a while. He lived other places but every so often he would always come back to Annunciation House. He became the director’s favorite. The director just loved him and so Oscar would come back once he already had his papers and would volunteer at Annunciation House.
So then I got there and I’d been at Annunciation House as a volunteer for about a year. It was my second year there that Oscar came back and volunteered for a while. He wasn’t a guest, he wasn’t one of our clients, he was a volunteer. That’s when we met and started dating. Then he left and we ended up having a long distance relationship for another year and a half before we finally got together again and got married.