Filed Under:

Teenage Diaries Revisited: Living Life Under The Radar

Play associated audio

Name: Juan (NPR is not revealing his full name, because he is living in the country illegally.)

Hometown: Loreto, Zacatecas, Mexico

Current city: Denver

Occupation: Plumber

His first radio diary:

Juan came to the U.S. with his family, who crossed the Rio Grande illegally in 1992, and he spent his teen years in Texas, a few hundred feet from that same river. The family lived in a trailer. At times, there was no food to eat. When he was 18, Juan recorded a diary about life along the Rio Grande, and his dreams for the future.

His new radio diary:

"If you meet me on the street, it's not even going to cross your mind that I'm an illegal resident. I've been here so long. I'm one of you."

Juan has made a life for himself in Colorado that might seem like the American dream: a house, a job, two cars, three kids, a happy marriage. But he remains in the U.S. illegally. Juan's radio diary chronicles life under the radar.

Why he recorded a teen audio diary:

"To me it was like I was doing something cool, something important, something that was going to be part of my life, I knew that back then. I was like, maybe 20 years from now I'll be talking about this. I honestly believed that."

Produced for All Things Considered by Joe Richman and Sarah Kate Kramer of Radio Diaries, edited by Deborah George and Ben Shapiro.

You can subscribe to the Radio Diaries podcast at NPR.org.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Nina McLemore's Clothes Are A 'Weapon' Of Powerful Women

Nina McLemore designs clothes for powerful women: Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Janet Yellen, Elena Kagan and others. She talks about how fashion can help women stand out in political office.
NPR

After Italy Quakes, Food World Delivers Support To Home Of Famous Pasta Dish

Amatrice was set to host the 50th celebration of pasta all'Amatriciana famously made there, but this week's earthquake devastated the town. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with food blogger Jeremy Cherfas.
NPR

Why Trump's Minority Outreach May Really Be About White Voters

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has publicly tried to reach out to minority voters. But that outreach may really be aimed at improving his standing with suburban white voters.
WAMU 88.5

Want To Play Video Games Made In D.C.? Here's Your Chance.

An event called District Arcade brings together 23 locally made video games.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.