Getting to Know Our Neighbors – Oscar Alonzo

»THE ROVIN’ REV by Reverend Beverly Craig

Oscar (right) with his brother, came to the U.S. in 1979

In 1979, when he was just 20 years old, Oscar Alonzo came to the United States from El Salvador seeking the American Dream. He left El Salvador because of political unrest created when army reformist officers removed General Romero from office, replacing him with a junta consisting of two army officers and three civilians. Political violence was increasing and Alonzo knew he’d have a better and safer life elsewhere. Asked if he had considered any other country besides the United States, he answered, “No, the United States is the land of great opportunity if you’re willing to work hard.”

I caught up with Alonzo at Rocky Cola Café where he has breakfast with friends every morning. Server Jennifer Vanderguegten and chef Carlos Garcia know Alonzo and his friends by name and bus boy Giovanni Almeto offers a clean table set up and ready to go.

Alonzo is the proud father of Oscar Jr., Tatiana, Nelson and Aracely. Much of his leisure time is spent playing soccer in the park. His favorite music is by Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Eagles. His favorite song is “Hotel California” by The Eagles.

When he arrived in this country, Alonzo was skilled in upholstering. For many years, he worked in an upholstery shop in Montrose and has owned the shop for the last seven years. This industrious man also works mornings at Andersen’s Pet Shop. I asked him if he’d been affected by the downturn in the economy. His answer was although he hadn’t experienced any financial problems, he was concerned that people without skills are the ones who are bearing the financial burden.

Now a U.S. citizen, Alonzo told me that he appreciates the freedom he has to create the life he chooses to live without having to worry about military violence in the streets.

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