Great grandpa and great grandma.
Great grandpa and great grandma.

My great-grandfather, Jose Torres-Ruiz, grew up in Puerto Rico.  His job was cutting sugarcane on a plantation. One day he decided to come to the USA to start a better life. He migrated to Florida where he continued working on plantations but this time it was picking oranges. In the late 1940’s, Jose moved to Iowa to learn about how to work machinery. Each day he worked hard, congregated with those who spoke Spanish like him and picked up English from the few English-speaking people around him. 
One day he met my great-grandmother. Of course, they fell in love, and then got married somewhere around 1950.  In 1952, they had a little baby girl named Yvonne (my grandmother). Eventually, the two found new opportunities in Chicago and took a plane with there with their daughter. This was the first time my great-grandmother rode in an airplane. 
 Jose started working in a factory making and painting furniture which increased his wage and gave him the opportunity for a slightly elevated lifestyle for his family . My great-grandmother was  a housewife.  She also babysat kids, ironed, and sewed clothes for a little extra money. Despite all of this work, the two still made sure they could spend time with each other and their daughter and soon, 6 other children too. Their lives might not have been perfect, but for them it was more than they could dream of at the time... and that’s really special to me.

Place(s): Puerto Rico, Florida, Iowa, Illinois
Year: 1948

– Olivia

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more