“Twenty years ago I was living in San Diego. I visited my brother in Anchorage and never went back. I moved here in 2002, and it still feels like I am on vacation. I am originally from Mexico. My mom still lives in California and asks me why I live so far away and where it is so cold. This is heaven here with nice people and being so close to nature. Being close to nature makes you human. It is healing to take my dogs for walks in the woods and by the water. I love cold temperatures, but the darkness during the winter is a hard adjustment. You lose a sense of time. But we get through it because we are all suffering together.
I moved here with nothing. I worked at the hospital as and anesthesia technician. My brother opened a business renting a bicycle for an hour. That grew into a business that rents bikes. People thought I was crazy when I quit my job and opened a street cart selling hotdogs. Baseball and hot dogs with a variety of toppings were big where I grew up in Mexico and I thought they would work here. Everyone loves hot dogs, and my toppings are from around the world. I was going to move from this food truck into a building this year, but the Coronavirus hit, so I stayed in my truck. I didn’t want to take on debt. It is hard, but we are making it through. I don’t know what would have happened if I had moved into the building. I am so proud of having my own business with two employees. My brother and I help support our mother.
I am grateful for life and this chance to make other people happy and to show them they are important. Life is about kindness and treating people well. I appreciate the people who spend their money with me because they could use it many other ways. I want to give back to my community. In the times we are living in right now, kindness is being forgotten. Kindness, compassion, gratefulness, and helping each other. That is what unites us.”
This is Our Alaskan Souls week with stories from Alaska.