Forty years ago today, on December 28, 1980, my older brother Marco Antonio, younger sister Angelica, and I, along with our mother, Mercedes Torrico, arrived in the United States to reunite with our father, Mauro Torrico, and embark on our American journey. We landed at JFK airport on an icy Sunday morning.
In those forty years, our parents worked hard so we could accomplish things they could not achieve and instilled in us a strong work ethic and belief in God. For 25 years, our dad preached on the streets of Queens and in homes. He helped many families come to Jesus and taught Bible studies to over 100 families before retiring and moving to Greensboro. Mom was the entrepreneur of the family. She hustled before hustling was a thing. She worked as a part-time factory worker and was a full-time mom; she was also a babysitter to make money on the side for our school trips and events. She encouraged us to do more, to reach higher than she could. To trust in God and to move forward.
My brother Marco started a mortgage business in New Jersey in the late ’90s, closed it down before the 2008 housing crisis, and traveled back and forth from Peru to the United States for the next 10 years. Marco now lives with his wife and kids in Baltimore and is a minister at a local Spanish speaking church. My sister graduated from college in NY, got married, and moved to Greensboro, NC, where she lives with her husband and two boys and is finishing her Master’s in Public Administration. They recently opened up a Christian elementary school during the pandemic in Greensboro.
I graduated from engineering school in 2001, moved to Maryland, lived there for 18 years, worked for Verizon as a web developer, attended Johns Hopkins Carey Business School before it was called Carey, got RIFed by Verizon. I day traded for a while and got involved in the real estate auction industry while at Carey. I worked with several non-profit organizations, got involved in the Hispanic business community in Baltimore, and taught entrepreneurship to high school Hispanic students around the country during the Hispanic Youth Symposium. After the 2008 crash, I lost everything, had to start over, worked in retail for several years, then moved to retail banking. In 2015 I was appointed by Governor Hogan as the Business Development Manager for MDOT MTA. I led their business outreach initiative during the launch of BaltimoreLink. Currently, I live in Loudon County, am engaged to my fiancée Mary Ann, and have a two-year-old Treeing Walker Hound named Princess Penny. I am the social media manager and staff photographer at MDOT MTA. I also own my own media company that provides photography, social media, website design, and digital ad buying services.
Throughout the years, our family has had many ups and downs, but I thank God that He has guided us through each challenge with the help of friends and family. As a family, we look forward to the next chapter of our family history in America as we continue to grow and prosper with the help of God.
About Latinos of America
Latinos of America is a photo-doc project that I started on Instagram that shares the stories of Latinos living in the U.S.