Salvador — I was deported 8 years ago. I would sing in the United States. I was young, I had a good voice. There, I would sing for pleasure. In Tijuana, I sing because I need to make a living. I live well. I rent a small apartment. I have a stove, food, a place to sit and rest a bit. I have a small living room where I can watch TV.
I don’t ask for money. I give what I can [through my music] and people pay what they can give me. Thank God and to the people who pass by.
Salvador — I lived in the United States for 35 years, all my youth. I lived in Atlanta and was deported to Reynoso [near McAllen, Texas]. I came to Tijuana to be near my mother who is buried here. I had a hard time during my first two years after being deported. After spending so much time in the United States, most of my life, I could not adapt to life here. If I had another opportunity to return to the United States I would not go.
I picked grapes and cut asparagus in California. I picked apples in Washington. I moved to Atlanta and worked in a Chinese buffet there. I learned a little Mandarin so they promoted me and sent me to other restaurants. I worked 13-14 hours a week, 6 days a week. I got to see Florida, New York, Maryland, Kentucky, Indiana, Chicago, Michigan, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Alabama, the Virginias, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
One way or another I was getting ahead until a bad streak hit [Salvador strikes a chord on his guitar]. What happened was…well, whatever happened, happened…and I ended up deported.