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Ricardo Perez

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Ricardo Perez grew up in Tijuana, Mexico, pursuing and eventually achieving his dream of running a horse track to train horses and to marry and start a family. However, his horse track burned to the ground one day, forcing him and his wife to move in with his wife's family in California, where Ricardo started over his horse training career from scratch.

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0:02:51

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Please contact Immigration History Research Center staff for permissions not covered by this Creative Commons license.

Transcription

Life comes with many difficult decisions. Ricardo Perez grew to know this very well when his life was changed due to a catastrophic event.

Ricardo Perez began his life in Tijuana, Mexico with a big family in a small house. It was never quiet in his home as people were always in and out of it. It wasn’t big enough to fit everyone the family needed to support, but they had little money and couldn’t afford anything bigger. He loved his family very much, but Ricardo had bigger dreams for himself.

He had a passion for horses and started learning how to train them. He imagined himself owning his own horse track one day so he could train and sell horses for a living. Not only did he love his hobby, he was also exceptionally good at it. He knew it was what he wanted to do with his life. Eventually his dream came true and after lots of hard work and dedication, he opened his own horse track in Tijuana. He was making a living doing what he loved and he soon met a beautiful girl that joined him in his journey. Feeling in love and swimming in success, Ricardo felt very happy in the home he had created for himself. He had crafted the life he had dreamed of since he was a child.

That is until something changed that altered his future as he knew it. One of his employees who seemed to not care much for the state of his horse track kept dropping his cigarette butts on the track even though he knew it was a fire hazard. Eventually this led to a tragic event for Ricardo. His horse track went up in flames and he watched as he lost everything he had worked for. His future became uncertain and he knew he needed to do something to support him and his now pregnant wife.

His wife, luckily had family in California and they decided together they needed to leave Mexico to live with her family. He had lost everything and had to leave everyone behind that he knew and loved. However, Frances’s family welcomed them with open arms as they arrived with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Ricardo was scared and questioned if his future would work out at all anymore. However, he realized with a baby on the way, he didn’t have much of a choice. He didn’t give up his passion and began training horses in California instead of his home in Tijuana. His career began rebuilding itself slowly and eventually a baby girl was born named Sunday who they both loved dearly. Ricardo’s life was back in his own hands and he couldn’t be happier. He got a house with Frances and they continued their lives happily in California where they still live together today training horses in Alameda County. He became a citizen and once again felt the joy of success he had worked so hard for in Tijuana. While he will always see Mexico as his home, he is so proud of the second home he has created here in California.