“The ELC gives me an opportunity to learn, speak, and write English. They help me to work towards completing my dream.”
Ask Adrian where he believes the most beautiful place in the world is, and he will tell you–his home country of Ecuador. He misses it greatly, especially at this time of year. With only two seasons and many beaches, Adrian says that the winter temperature is perfect. No surprise that it was especially tough for him adjusting to Minnesota’s subzero temps, snow, and ice.
So what brought Adrian to the United States? In two words: economic crisis. When he graduated from high school, he immediately did what he could to secure an income in Ecuador. He first worked in a small hardware store for seven years and then a general store for another three years. The hours were long, and he earned only $70 a week. With Minnesota’s recent increase in minimum wage, that’s less than a minimum wage worker earns in one eight-hour day!
When Adrian’s father got sick two years ago, there was no way his family could pay for medical care. So Adrian came to the US to find work and send money back. He has one brother and one sister with him in Minnesota, but he still finds it incredibly difficult to be away from his family. And when his father died six months ago, it was the hardest thing in his entire life to be unable to return home to say his final goodbye.
Despite these struggles, good things have happened since coming to Minnesota. Most importantly, Adrian has found work here. His first job was in the kitchen of a restaurant. Now he does laundry for a hotel, which keeps him especially busy on weekends.
Adrian has also been grateful to come to school, which he started this fall. He wants to continue studying for as long as he can, saying, “The ELC gives me an opportunity to learn, speak, and write English. They help me to work towards completing my dream.”
This dream includes getting his GED. Currently in one of our advanced English classes, he is not too far off. While he studies, Adrian hopes to find a new job as a server, so he can use his English more!
Eventually, Adrian plans to return to Ecuador. He says he wants to be an English interpreter for tourists. Tourism is a huge industry, and he would like to use the skills he is learning here now to share the beauty of Ecuador with others.