Mexican Americans


Mexican Americans Essay, Research Paper

Mexican Americans

By Brent Olson

It took me a while to figure out what I was going to go and do

for my project. I went up to Safeway in West Linn Wednesday

after school to get something to eat. There was a janitor there

that was cleaning up. I had seen him there before. I decided to

sit down and talk to him. He was wearing his blue Safeway apron

and a old white dress shirt underneath that went with his black

tie. His black pants were dirty with something that looked like


His name was Gilberto. He told me his last name but I

couldn t pronounce it. He didn t speak the best English and I

didn t speak that much Spanish so it was a little bit harder to

understand some of the things he was telling me about. He has

been working at Safeway since it opened in two summers ago. He

does all the janitorial work for the company. His duties

include; Washing the floors, taking out the garbage, cleaning

spills, and moves anything around that needs to be moved.

He grew up twenty minutes away from Mexico City, Mexico. He

is now 42 years old and lives in Beaverton, Oregon. He moved up

two years ago and that was when he got his job working for

Safeway. I asked him why he works so far away. I m not quite

sure that he understood me, but he said, two hours from here to

my home . I asked him why it took him so long to get home and it

is cause he doesn t have a car. He rides the bus from Allen

Blvd.. in Beaverton to West Linn everyday except for Mondays and

Tuesdays and it takes two hours to commute.

I asked him if he knew about what was happening on the news

with the two World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon being

hit by terrorist planes that were highjacked. He was not as very

informed about what had happened and I was hoping to talk to him

more about it. All he said was that he saw it on the news and

that it was not good. He didn t know very many words about what

had happened so we moved to a new subject.

I could see that he spoke some English and I questioned how

he learned it and he pulled out this book and said, PCC . I

asked if he went to Portland Community College and he started to

shake his head and said, Yeah . So I talked with him a little

more about that, he is going to PCC during the night to take

English classes.

He had with him a LA Laker bag with him. Then he pointed to

his bag and said, Lakers, Number 1 . Inside the bag he had a CD

player and about 5 CDs. I looked through them and he had some

Spanish band that I did not know but the rest of the CDs where

the same that most Americans would listen to. He had Queen, Pink

Floyd, and Van Halen. Those artists may not be Americans but

they are very popular here in the USA. I joked with him about

being a Mexican American and he started laughing. I told him

about the song that Cheech made up in Cheech and Chongs Next

Movie . It goes something like, Mexican Americans…..don t

like to wake up early……but they have to….so they do it

really slow… . I cant sing the whole song but he laughed and

told me that he had seen that movie before and then he started

singing the song. Gilberto may not know the most English, but he

is still one of the funniest guys I have ever talked to.

I asked if he Had a Wife and he told me about how he had one

back in Mexico City, but he divorced her and has a girlfriend

here in Oregon. He showed me a picture of her and she looked

like she was about 15 to me but he claims she is 37.

Gilbertos bus was about to come so I left the store, I m

sure that I will see Gilberto some other time because he is

always in there. He is a good example of a Mexican that came to

live in America because it is a land of opportunity and I am glad

that I had the time to sit down and talk to him.

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