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

Cult Survivor Documents 2 Decades Inside 'Holy Hell'

Will Allen directed the documentary Holy Hell, which depicts his experience as a videographer and member of The Buddhafield cult. Allen used his own footage, as well as his interviews with other former members, to make this documentary.
NPR

Evaporated Cane Juice? Puh-leeze. Just Call It Sugar, FDA Says

Companies cultivating a healthful image often list "evaporated cane juice" in their products' ingredients. But the FDA says it's really just sugar, and that's what food labels should call it.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - May 27, 2016

Congress votes to override DC's 2013 ballot initiative on budget autonomy. Virginia governor faces a federal investigation over international finance and lobbying rules. And DC, Maryland and Virginia move to create a Metro safety oversight panel.

NPR

After Departure Of Uber, Lyft In Austin, New Companies Enter The Void

Earlier this month, voters in Austin, Texas, rejected an effort to overturn the city's rules for ride-hailing companies. Uber and Lyft tried to prevent fingerprinting of their drivers, and now both have left town. A few other ride-share companies have popped up to help fill the void. NPR explores how people are getting around town without Uber and Lyft.

Leave a Comment

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