Cuauhtemoc “Memo” Barragan, 33, said he is a friendly man who likes to smile. His motto for life is: “Love God and look forward.”

Photo by Michelle Balleck

Cuauhtemoc “Memo” Barragan, 33, said he is a friendly man who likes to smile. His motto for life is: “Love God and look forward.”

My Life, My Words: Love God and look forward

Cuauhtemoc Barragan, 33, waiter and manager at fiesta jalisco in craig

photo

Cuauhtemoc “Memo” Barragan, waiter and manager at Fiesta Jalisco Mexican restaurant in Craig, came to the U.S. in 2003 to make a better life for himself. He said he’s been working since the age of 6 and it’s something he takes pride in doing.

“I’m from a little town in Jalisco. It’s called Ayutla. All the time since I was really small, I was working. My dad was a butcher. And I always helped him in whatever way I could.

“I also worked in a small restaurant. After that, I worked at a factory, where they make dresses and clothing. All the clothing and dresses they did, they sold in California. When the factory did not have any work for six months, some people invited me to work at an office where they sold cows and boars.

“My family had everything it needed, but I wanted to have something of my own. I stopped working at the office in 2003. (I came to the U.S.) because I wanted to have a better future.

“(I ended up in Craig) because almost all my family is here. I have three sisters and a brother. I wanted to be with my family. They all live here. My brother lives here, and my sisters live in Steamboat.

“You live a more peaceful life here than you do in big cities.

“I don’t have any kids, but I live with my girlfriend.

“I am really comfortable working here and with all the people here. I get along really well with them. I love my work. I love what I do. And I’m really sociable so I like to talk to people a lot.

“I try to have a lot of friends. I try to be friends with everyone no matter what and to help them.

“I don’t like to go out that much, not even when I was in Mexico. I like to go to the gym, but I don’t have that much time. I like to watch TV — games and wrestling.

“I send money to Mexico to my parents and my family. When schools and organizations come and ask for help with fundraisers, I like to help.

“(My role models are) my dad and my mom because they told me to have goals in my life and to become a better person — to work all the time, don’t lie and don’t steal anything, and be honest all the time with other people.

“In the place I was living, there were a lot of people who were poor. All the time I was seeing people who didn’t have anything because they were poor. I always thought it was sad and I didn’t want to have a life like that.

“I knew even though my parents had everything, nothing was from my work. I wanted to have pride in what I was doing.

“(My personal motto is to) love God and look forward. Everywhere I went, I always felt Him because I had really good experiences.

“I’m always trying to smile at other people. I’m a sensible guy and I’m friendly. I was born like that. Those are the talents I have.

“I want to keep working and keep up with the progress I’ve made.

“I’m thankful to have come to the United States and to the people in Colorado because it’s the only state I’ve been in, and everyone has been really nice.”

Interview by Michelle Balleck, For M2

Interpretation by Maritza Almaraz

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